Rehtaeh Parsons suspects' lawyers drop pursuit of Crown testimony
Disclosure hearing continues in Halifax court
Lawyers for the two teenagers facing child pornography charges in the Rehtaeh Parsons case have dropped their bid to call a Crown prosecutor as a witness.
Defence lawyer Ian Hutchison had filed a subpoena asking prosecutor Craig Botterill to testify about his correspondence with police. The application was supported by the other defence lawyer, Brian Church.
If Botteril had been called to testify, he would have been asked to explain how and why the boys were charged.
The motion was dropped Wednesday. A disclosure hearing continued.
Hutchison had argued in court documents that Nova Scotia's Public Prosecution Service changed its policy on so-called sexting in the days after Parsons's death and child porn charges wouldn't have been laid against the teens if the policy hadn't changed.
Parsons was 17 years old when she died in April 2013. Her family says she had been sexually assaulted at a party when she was 15 and a digital photo of the incident was circulated around school and social media.
Police did not initially lay any charges in the case, but they reopened their investigation in the months following the teen's death and charged two 18-year-old men.
One is accused of two counts of distributing child pornography, the other with making and distributing child pornography.
One of the teens is also charged with threatening to kill Parsons’s father, Glen Canning. Threatening messages were left on Canning’s YouTube page and his Wordpress blog.
Parson's death made international headlines and prompted new laws aimed at curbing cyberbullying.
With files from The Canadian Press