Rehtaeh Parsons' Suicide Reopens Rape Case In Canada
Rehtaeh Parsons was taken off of life-support on Sunday after having attempted suicide at her Cole Harbour home last week. Her untimely death has motivated a Canadian minister of justice to revisit her prior rape allegations against four Nova Scotia teens.
Parsons, 17, hung herself in her bathroom after suffering from bullying and depression in the aftermath of the alleged sexual assault. Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry has since taken a sincere interest in the case – reviewing details, consulting with officials and hoping to meet with Parson’s mother, Leah Parsons, 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."
Law enforcement officials who had been investigating Parsons’ case did not believe that they had found enough proof to prosecute the boys, although they believed that they were guilty, reported ABC News. They believed that all they had to go on were the contradicting accounts of the boys and Rehtaeh Parsons.
On a Facebook tribute page dedicated to Rehtaeh, Leah Parson’s provided the details of her daughter’s account of her rape and the abuse that followed. "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," Parsons wrote. "Because the boys already had a 'slut' story, the victim of the rape Rehtaeh was considered a SLUT."
Bullying eventually forced Rehtaeh to attempt to create a new life for herself in different town. Rehtaeh had even spent time in a hospital when suicidal thoughts began to take hold of her. Although she had since returned to her old school and had seemed to settle back into her old life, she still fought to be emotionally healthy. On April 4, Rehtaeh attempted to take her own life.
Cpl. Scott MacRae, spokesman for Halifax Royal Canadian Mounted police, defended the police work that went into this particular rape case to ABC News. However, in light of Ministry Landry’s comments, he stated that his department would willingly revisit the police activity involved in Rehtaeh Parson’s alleged rape investigation.