Alleged Rape of Nova Scotian Girl Who Killed Self Revisited
(NEW YORK) — A Canadian minister of justice is seeking answers in the investigation into the alleged rape by four teenagers of Nova Scotian teen Rehtaeh Parsons, who hanged herself after what her mother says was months of bullying.
Parsons, 17, was taken off life support Sunday on her mother’s authorization after she hanged herself at home in Cole Harbour last week.
Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry said on Tuesday that he hopes to meet with Parsons’ mother, Leah, to “discuss her experience with the justice system.” Landry has been reviewing details of the case and consulting with officials, according to a statement.
“I know that law enforcement and the public prosecution service do their best, every day, to administer and enforce the law,” Landry said. “I am committed to exploring the mechanisms that exist to review the actions of all relevant authorities to ensure the system is always working to the best of its ability, in pursuit of justice.”
In a lengthy post on a Facebook tribute page to her daughter, Leah Parsons outlined what she says led to her daughter’s suicide. In November 2011, Leah said, Rehtaeh went with a friend to another’s home, where she was raped by four teenage boys.
“One of those boys took a photo of her being raped and decided it would be fun to distribute the photo to everyone in Rehtaeh’s school and community, where it quickly went viral,” Leah wrote. “Because the boys already had a ‘slut’ story, the victim of the rape Rehtaeh was considered a SLUT.”
Leah wrote that her daughter’s life soon became “so bad she had to move out of her own community to try to start anew in Halifax,” and she began to “struggle emotionally with depression and anger.”
Rehtaeh was hospitalized for six weeks when her thoughts turned toward suicide. Eventually, a few friends began to support her, and she returned home.
Police investigating the case said that they concluded that it came down to a “he said, she said” situation, Leah wrote. She said that she was told by investigators that they believed the boys raped Rehtaeh, but “the proof in a court of law was difficult to gather.”
On April 4, after a period during which Rehtaeh had become tranquil and even made plans for the upcoming weekend, according to Leah, Rehtaeh had an outburst, and locked herself in the bathroom. By the time Leah was able to enter, she wrote, it was too late.
Rehtaeh was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support, from which she was removed Sunday night.
Calls placed by ABC News to Leah Parsons were not immediately returned.
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