Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old Canadian student was taken off life support Sunday after she was hospitalized for an attempted suicide. Parsons was allegedly sexually assaulted by four boys and was subsequently severely bullied at her high school for more than one year. Due to a lack of evidence, there were no filing of charges against the alleged suspects — this left Parson’s emotionally disturbed which eventually led to her attempted suicide.
The alleged sexual assault took place November 2011 when Parsons was 15 years old. In addition to the incident itself, photographs showing Parsons having sex with one of the boys were allegedly circulated throughout the high school. Her family believes this further act contributed to Parson’s developing suicidal thoughts.
Dispersing such a picture as was done in this case, notwithstanding consent of either party involves, is considered child pornography under Canadian law. However, an initial investigation by Royal Canadian Mounted Police and local authorities found “insufficient evidence to proceed with charges.”
Parsons is said to have struggled emotionally after the police investigation ended without criminal charges, however, Canadian officials have recently expressed an intent to reconsider the filing of criminal charges.