#YouKnowHerName Protests Handling of Rehtaeh Parsons Case

Illustration for article titled #YouKnowHerName Protests Handling of Rehtaeh Parsons Case

The sad, infuriating case of Rehtaeh Parsons is drawing to an even sadder conclusion, with no jail time or even probation for one of the people who took photos of her alleged rape, then disseminated those images to torment her.

The 17-year-old Canadian girl died last year, taken off life support following a suicide attempt. The suicide attempt, her parents say, followed years of virulent bullying at school after she was allegedly raped by two boys at a party when she was just 15. Photos of the rape were passed around the school and online while local law enforcement did precisely nothing, taking nearly 10 months to investigate at all before quickly concluding there was "insufficient evidence" to charge anyone with rape.

The teenager accused of photographing Parsons as she was being assaulted is now 20. He pled guilty in September to manufacturing child pornography. He was given a conditional discharge on Thursday. Here's Canadian journalist Selena Ross explaining what that means:


If you notice no one is using the 20-year-old's name, that's because the Canadian press has been barred for months from using Parsons' name or his. Parsons name can't be used under Canadian law because she is a victim of child pornography. The teenagers who filmed the alleged rape can't be identified either, since the same law prohibits publishing any information that could identify child pornography victims. The ban has only been enforced since April, over the protestations of her family.

In protest, Halifax journalist Hilary Beaumont created #YouKnowHerName, where thousands of people have poured out their grief and outrage over how the case has been handled.


The other person accused of filming the rape will go to trial November 24.

Image via Facebook

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The judge's statements were the most aggravating, rage-inducing part of this for me. The basic gist I got out of it was, "What you did was very, very bad, and you'll feel guilty for the rest of your life... but you've been feeling bad about being on trial for three years now, so that's enough punishment for me."

You're fucking awful.