Arrests Made in Case of Rehtaeh Parsons Who Died After Cyberbullying

Thursday, 08 Aug 2013 05:15 PM

By David Ogul

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Following a cyberbullying incident where 17-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons tried to take her own life and died days later, law enforcement officials in Canada have arrested two males in connection with the case.

Neither the names nor the ages of the two arrested were released. Information about the charges also was lacking.

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“Due to the sensitive nature around this investigation, the investigators do want to ensure that no court process is affected,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Scott MacRae, according to The Associated Press.

Rehtaeh Parsons' mother Leah Parsons said four boys sexually assaulted her daughter when she was 15. Classmates then mocked the girl, who is said to have endured relentless harassment after a photo of the assault found its way to social media sites and was circulated at school, CBC reported.

Rehtaeh tried to take her life in April; she was taken off life support a few days later.

Investigators had gotten nowhere in their probe, but Canadian authorities said someone provided new information in the case this spring that led to the reopening of the case.

“We’re just hopeful there’s charges laid and others to arrest, hoping that they’re finally willing to tell their side of the story,” Leah Parsons told the AP.

“A sense of relief came over me that at least they’re going to be questioned,” she added.

Leah Parsons told CBC that police have told her who was arrested and that they are directly involved in her daughter’s attack, but she was not at liberty to identify them.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at a news conference on Thursday that he, too, was relieved arrests were made.

“As you know this is a terrible tragedy that has touched not only the Parsons family but I think all Canadians who have become familiar with what has transpired and the kind of risk this presents to all of our children,” he said.

Authorities say the arrest is unrelated to tougher cyberbullying laws in Nova Scotia. The law allows parents to sue if they or their children are victims of cyberbullying. Victims also can seek an order placing restrictions on the cyberbully.

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Related stories:

Do Social Networking Sites Lead to Suicide?

Rebecca Marino Says Cyberbullying Helped Make Her Quit Tennis

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