April 23, 2014 11:05 am

Defence wants Crown to testify in Rehtaeh Parsons child pornography case

A woman holds a photo as people attend a community vigil to remember Rehtaeh Parsons at Victoria Park in Halifax.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – The defence lawyers for two teens accused of child pornography in the Rehtaeh Parsons case want a Crown prosecutor to testify in the matter.

Defence lawyer Ian Hutchinson filed a subpoena to have Crown prosecutor Craig Botterill take the stand, and the application is being supported by the other defence lawyer, Brian Church.

Hutchinson told Nova Scotia’s Supreme Court in Halifax that the prosecution’s policy in 2011-12 was that if a youth took a sexual picture of a youth of a similar age, then charges wouldn’t proceed.

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A lawyer for Nova Scotia’s attorney general has filed an application to quash the subpoena, and in that document, Hutchinson’s position is explained.

In it, Hutchinson says if the policy hadn’t been changed a few days after Parsons’ death last year, then child pornography charges against the two teens wouldn’t have been laid.

The application to quash the subpoena was heard in Halifax provincial court Wednesday and adjourned until next Wednesday.

The two accused are charged with distributing child pornography, while one is also charged with making child pornography.

Parsons was taken off life-support following a suicide attempt last April.

Her family says the 17-year-old girl was bullied for months after a photograph of her allegedly being sexually assaulted in November 2011 was passed around her school.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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