Halifax (Canada): Two Canada teenagers appeared in youth court on Thursday on child pornography charges related to a deadly cyberbullying case, which is set to continue next month as the defense seeks additional disclosure of evidence.
Rehtaeh Parsons was taken off life support after a suicide attempt in April that her family says was prompted by months of bullying. They say the 17-year-old was tormented after a digital photograph of her allegedly being sexually assaulted was distributed around her school.
One 18-year-old man faces two counts of distributing child pornography, while another 18-year-old man is charged with distributing and making child pornography.
Neither man showed emotion in court. They left the courthouse without commenting.
The lawyer for one of them said reaction to the case on the Internet amounts to a rush to judgment.
"Individuals on the Internet and certain members of the media conducted their own one-sided trial in this matter. No due process was given," said defense lawyer Josh Arnold.
Police announced the arrests in the high-profile case last week. The teens` names cannot be released because they were under 18 at the time of the alleged offenses.
The two were charged after police reopened their investigation a week after the girl`s death. Police said they had received new and credible information from someone who was willing to co-operate with their investigation.
Police initially said there were no plans to lay charges in connection with the alleged sexual assault. They concluded there weren`t enough grounds to lay charges.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said he hoped Parsons` family would be given a degree of comfort by the arrests.
After the two men were arrested last week, Rehtaeh`s father said the development brought the family some solace but he expressed disappointment that his daughter never saw justice served.