January 18th, 2017

Judge reserves decision on releasing evidence to media in intimate photo case


By The Canadian Press on January 11, 2017.

BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – A Nova Scotia judge has reserved his decision on whether to release additional evidence to media in a case involving the alleged sharing of intimate images by teenagers without consent.

Six Nova Scotia teenaged boys are charged with sharing images of at least 20 high school girls in Bridgewater, N.S.

Last year, the CBC successfully argued for the release of a redacted version of a search warrant in the case, which said police uncovered up to 75 intimate images of teenage girls.

The CBC’s lawyer Nancy Rubin argued Wednesday in Bridgewater provincial court for redacted portions of the 36-page document to be released.

But Crown and defence lawyers argued it’s in the interest of the public and the administration of justice if the information remains redacted.

Judge Paul Scovil reserved his decision until March 3.

Two 18-year-olds and four 15-year-old boys are facing charges of distributing intimate images without consent, and possessing and distributing child pornography.

Their identities are protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Charges were laid after Bridgewater police launched a year-long investigation in response to the complaints from Bridgewater Junior/Senior High School administrators, leading to the seizure of a number of electronic devices – mainly cellphones – which were handed over to the RCMP Technological Crime Unit for analysis.

The case is one of the first in Canada involving legislation introduced in late 2013 after the death of Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons, which captured national attention.

The 17-year-old attempted suicide and was taken off life support after a digital photo of what her family says was a sexual assault was circulated among students at her school in Cole Harbour, N.S.

There have also been some recent convictions under child pornography laws for the circulation of Internet images, with sentences often limited to community service and probation.

One of the most recent was the conviction of a 16-year-old Newfoundland boy who circulated nude pictures of a 15-year-old female schoolmate.

On Nov. 29, the teen was sentenced to 18 months probation for possession of child pornography, and he must also perform 25 hours of community service and submit a DNA sample.


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