Military police won’t say if arrest is linked to edits of Wikipedia page on Rahtaeh Parsons

Canadian military police will not confirm whether the man they arrested and questioned Feb. 25 is the father of one of boys convicted of circulating explicit sexual pictures of 17-year-old Rahtaeh Parsons, who died after attempting to take her life in 2013.

Canadian Forces Military Police did confirm that they are investigating allegations that edits were made to the Wikipedia page of Rahtaeh Parsons from a computer belonging to the Department of Defense.

Major Yves Desbiens, spokesperson for the Canadian Forces Military Police, said an arrest was made at a military base in Shearwater, Nova Scotia. However, he could not confirm that this was related to updates made to the Wiki page.

Earlier this month, a computer with an IP address owned by the Department of National Defense was used to make changes to the Wikipedia page highlighting the suspected rape, reported bullying and eventual suicide of the Rahtaeh Parsons.

Representatives of the military have confirmed that the organization is investigating this incident.

About a dozen changes were made, including altering a quote by Parsons’ father Glen Canning to suggest that the teen was not, in fact, raped. The family has maintained that Rahtaeh was pushed to suicide by explicit online photographs circulated in the months leading to her death.

The person making the update also went on the defense of the boys, warning that “[if] people are going to libel fine young men who have done nothing wrong, they should proceed very, very carefully.”

Canning has said he believes the changes were made by a relative of one of the boys who faced child pornography charges as a result of circulating photos of Parsons as she was penetrated from behind after vomiting out a window.

CTV reported Feb. 25 that the suspect arrested by military police is the father of one of the boys involved in the case, but would not identify the man as his son’s identity is protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

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