Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

RCMP probe case of bullied B.C. teen who killed self

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VANCOUVER -- A video glimpse into the life of a dead teenage girl who said she was being bullied has prompted a police investigation.

RCMP said Friday serious-crime teams were conducting interviews and reviewing contributing factors to the death of Amanda Todd, 15. They also set up an email account for tips.

"There are a number of areas within the Criminal Code that could be applied," Sgt. Peter Thiessen said, though he declined to be specific. "Those involved in bullying, depending on the form of the bullying and what the end result of the bullying is, certainly can result in criminal charges."

But Thiessen added it's "extremely difficult" to get the evidence police need and that's why officers asked for the public's help.

Thiessen confirmed Todd's case has "some similarities" to an investigation police conducted into a rave in 2010 in the same Fraser Valley area where Todd lived. A teen complained she had been drugged and sexually assaulted while partygoers filmed the sex act and passed the pictures around on social media.

Sex-assault charges were stayed in the rave case, but a teenaged boy who posted some of those images online was charged with making and distributing child pornography and distributing obscene material. He was sentenced to 12 months probation earlier this year. A second man is also charged.

"Our investigators are certainly looking at all areas, including social media, past conversations, postings, past actions on social media by everyone and anyone who may have come into contact with Amanda," Thiessen said.

The B.C. coroner's office confirmed preliminary indications suggest Todd took her own life this week, a month after posting a haunting video on YouTube describing both cyber and physical bullying. The video ends with her note: "I have nobody. I need someone."

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 13, 2012 A13

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