Justice may finally come for Retaeh Parson, the Canadian girl who committed suicide after students circulated pictures of her being gang-raped. Her parents say she was raped in November, 2011 at 15, but finally took her own life in a suicide attempt when a photo of the alleged crime was shared online. She was bullied for months after the picture went viral. Now two men have been arrested and brought in for questioning. Police have a 24-hour window to place criminal charges.
“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,” said Leah Parson, Rehtaeh’s mother. The words sound magnanimous, considering the rape has polarized the town, with some defenders of the alleged rapists going so far as to place posters on lamp poles claiming their innocence.
“This morning at 8 a.m., investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division arrested two males at their respective residences,” the Halifax Integrated Sexual Assault Investigation Team said in a statement Thursday morning. As to their relationship to the case, what charges are likely to arise, that remains to be seen.
The arrest coincides with a new law the province has made for stricter cyberbullying legislation, which is in part a reaction to this very incident, making it possible for victims to sue their tormenters.