Police to probe Canadian teen's rape, after she kills self

OTTAWA (AFP) - Police announced on Friday they were reopening an investigation into a Canadian teen's alleged rape by four boys, following a public outcry over her subsequent suicide.

Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, died in hospital on Sunday in the port city of Halifax in easternmost Canada after a suicide attempt that her mother blames on the November 2011 sexual assault and a subsequent barrage of taunts by schoolmates.

Parsons was said to have been drunk at a party when she was raped. One of the suspects later posted a photo of the incident online.

The case reignited concerns over cyberbullying, after a similar tragedy in British Columbia in October, and led hacker group Anonymous this week to press for an inquiry, saying they had identified two of the suspects.

Police had investigated Parsons' initial complaint but no charges were made. Parsons meanwhile changed cities and schools, but the harassment persisted.

"She was never left alone. Her friends turned against her, people harassed her, boys she didn't know started texting her and Facebooking asking her to have sex with them since she had had sex with their friends. It just never stopped," her mother Leah Parsons told public broadcaster CBC.

Halifax police initially balked at reopening the case, but now say they have received "new and credible information" and have asked the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to join them in a criminal investigation.

Police added, however, that the new leads "did not come from an online source".

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