A 15 year old girl was photographed while being gang-raped, the photo was circulated around her school, and she was bullied for 2 years until she finally committed suicide - and no-one will spend a moment in jail.
A man who pleaded guilty to making child pornography as a youth was given a conditional discharge for 12 months on Thursday, in a high-profile Nova Scotia case.
The victim's father said the man's actions led to the girl's suicide. According to her parents, four boys sexually assaulted their daughter at a house party when she was 15. The Cole Harbour, N.S., teen was then said to have been mocked by classmates, enduring relentless harassment and humiliation after a digital photo of the attack was circulated at school and on social media.
|Rehtaeh Parsons - gang-raped and driven to suicide|
The 20-year-old can't be identified due to a statutory publication ban. He was 17 when the incident occurred in 2011. I'm going to take a wild guess and suggest that we are talking about Rehtaeh Parsons here. But, you never know, there could have been another high-profile rape, porn, bullying case in 2011 that ended in the suicide of a 17 year old girl, and I just didn't hear about it.
The judge said he must meet with a probation officer. He should write his apology to the family and give it to the probation officer, who will convey it to the girl's parents.
"This is not a court of retribution. It is a court that seeks to reform and rehabilitate the young person," he said. So the family loses a daughter, and the guy responsible has to apologize. That should teach him. That should put the fear of God into anyone else who takes pictures of rape victims and shares them with their friends.
Not a court of retribution alright. A girl gets gang-raped, photographed, embarrassed beyond belief, harassed by idiot classmates until she commits suicide - and not one soul spends a minute in jail. Not a court of retribution, nor a court of justice.
The judge said it was the first time he's sentenced someone for taking an image of someone without their consent or knowledge. That's it! No making and distributing pornography charges. Oh, right, those laws were written after the rape so they can't be used.
The judge said an adult would have known better and foreseen the consequences. "He is not as morally blameworthy as an adult would be," the judge told the court. He was 17 years old! He probably had a driver's licence; he was old enough to join the military and shoot people. OMG judge!
Addressing the man, he told him: "The act depicted in that photo that you took is vile, it is degrading, it is dehumanizing."
The victim's name is also protected by a mandatory publication ban, something her parents say has restricted them in telling her tragic story, which made national headlines before the court-ordered ban. This is so absurd. I think the Nova Scotia Department of Justice is protecting their butts for their abysmal failure from beginning to end of this miserable case.
The girl died at age 17 after she was taken off life-support following a suicide attempt in the spring of 2013. Her family says she was bullied for months as a result of the photo.
"This series of events drained her of her very essence," the judge said, causing her to "fall into a deep, dark hole of despair from which she could not extricate herself."
The girl's father, Glen Canning, delivered a victim impact statement. He said his life has forever been changed, and hers ended.
"Every morning I wake up with the realization she is gone. I will never hear her voice again. She will never call me, spend the day with me, or watch a movie we both looked forward to seeing together," he wrote in the version posted to his website.
"I won’t see her graduate from university and enter a career she dreamed of since she was a child. [She] was my only child. I will never walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. I will never be a grandfather and enjoy the laughter of a grandchild.
"The hole you left in my life is as big as the hole you left in hers."
|Glen Canning, still grieving, unable to work|
"Her dreams turned to ashes, her laughter turned to anger and cries," the father wrote.
He said if the young man had told her he was sorry, she would have forgiven him. But, he wrote, he "did nothing when it would have mattered."
"I fight everyday not to turn into a dark empty shell. I’m not able to work. Hobbies I had that were important to me are all long forgotten and sit on shelves in the basement. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I often fear being alone," the father told the court.
"My sense of justice has been shattered and replaced with doubt, cynicism, and a lack of faith."
The girl's mother spoke with CBC's As It Happens and said she was frustrated that nobody faced charges for sexual assault.
"She was sexually assaulted. They even described the photo again today of her hanging out the window, throwing up, while they were sexually engaged. What else is that, besides rape?" the mother said.
The mother added that once the photo was shared, her daughter was never the same person.
"It was like a wrecking ball hit her emotionally and she was left in pieces," she said.