Police in Rehtaeh Parsons case warn against vigilantism
Glen Canning upset no sexual assualt charges in case
Police in the Halifax region are warning that anyone who takes direct action against suspects in the Rehtaeh Parsons case will face legal consequences.
The Cole Harbour teen died in April, a few days after she attempted suicide.
On Thursday, police charged two 18-year-old males with child pornography offences in the case.
They are scheduled to appear in youth court on Aug. 15. They cannot be identified because they were minors at the time of the alleged offences.
Rehtaeh Parsons's family said she was sexually assaulted by four boys at a party when she was 15, and then bullied when a picture of the attack was shared online.
One faces two counts of distributing child pornography. Another is accused of making and distributing child pornography charges.
Police said the evidence did not support sexual assault charges against the two men.
RCMP Chief Supt. Roland Wells said there will be consequences for those who take the law into their own hands.
"While people may feel they know the identity of the two accused, anyone who releases their names or other information that could identify them would be in breach of the Youth Criminal Justice Act and that person could face charges," he said. "Similarly, we cannot and we will not tolerate vigilante actions against the accused."
Police had not interviewed any of the four accused before yesterday.
System broken, says father
Rehtaeh’s father, Glen Canning, said he’s livid there were no sexual assault charges.
"They were even texting messages to people that Rehtaeh was drunk when they were having sex with her and she was throwing up. If that’s not evidence of sexual assault we’ve got a big problem. My understanding is there needs to be ongoing consent. You can’t give consent when you’re in that state," he said.
Halifax police and RCMP decided to reopen the case in mid-April after the teen's death, saying that new and credible information had been brought forward.
"I know exactly what it was, yes. I’ve seen the information. It was a moment of regret, someone who was there, someone who knows exactly what happened that night decided to reach out and try to explain themselves," Canning said.
"What are they going to get for doing this to my child? They are going to get parole. I would be surprised if they got that."
Nova Scotia's justice minister will release new details about an independent review of the police investigation on Monday.