Halifax police reactivate probe into alleged frat-house rape after Anonymous names accused attacker

police have reactivated an investigation into an alleged frat-house rape of a teenaged woman after released a video showing the name, phone number and photographs of the man it accuses of being her attacker.

And now, members of the Halifax-based cell of a global hacktivist group warn that police have until Monday to lay charges in the Halloween party incident or Dalhousie University may be taken offline in a cyberattack.

“We do not promote violence against anyone, including rapists and pedophiles,” says the video, which, in typical Anonymous style, features a masked figure and a digitized voice.

“We do promote awareness and education. This, we believe, is the right of every woman in Halifax: the right to know who the rapists are amongst them. And so,” the video says, naming a Halifax man, “we are going to expose you for the rapist you are.”

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The video then shows several photographs of a man, some of him in a fraternity environment, along with a name and a telephone number.

A member of Halifax Nova Scotia Anonymous told the National Post they became involved at the request of the woman’s mother, who sent them a message online saying “Help me, please.” Her message has been seen by the Post.

The Halifax activists made a name for themselves in the Rehtaeh Parsons case, supporting her family and calling attention to the teen’s suicide, linked to bullying when a photo of what her family says was her rape was passed around her school.

The Anon video this week was uploaded to YouTube until it was deleted by the company. It was then posted on Facebook until it, too, was deleted. A second posting remained online Thursday and was rapidly being shared by social media users.

“It went viral,” said an Anon spokesman, identifying himself as “Jason.”

He said after the plea from the woman’s family, and in a belief police were not doing enough, his group decided to act. He said their detailed information on the case came from her family and he is confident in its accuracy.

“We don’t play games. Our motto is ‘we don’t blow smoke.’ A lot of people don’t talk out of truth and transparency. But everything in the video is the truth. We’re ready to take that debate to court,” he said in an interview.

Halifax police confirm a sexual assault was reported in the early morning hours of Nov. 1 and the victim told officers she was sexually assaulted. The case was forwarded to a sex assault investigation team.

‘A lot of people don’t talk out of truth and transparency. But everything in the video is the truth’

“The victim at that time chose not to proceed with a police investigation,” said Lauren Leal, a spokeswoman for Halifax Regional Police. “In any sexual assault we respect the wishes of the victim. We don’t force them to go forward.

“We feel that it was irresponsible on the part of the people who created the video and posted it online. They relayed third-hand information, they identified a person and accused him of a very serious crime without any investigation or being tested in court,” she said.

But when asked if the video helped reopen the investigation, she said: “Certainly. Some of the comments associated with the video did suggest the victim did want to proceed with an investigation.”

She wouldn’t say if Anon’s suspect is also a police suspect.

Brian Leadbetter, spokesman for Dalhousie, said the man identified is not a registered student and the fraternity has no direct association with the school.

“From our perspective, there certainly isn’t a connection to Dalhousie,” he said.

He was not aware of the latest Anon video that says the university might be targeted.

“In terms of protecting infrastructure, we will take appropriate precautions and due diligence on our part to ensure our systems are safe,” said Leadbetter.

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In a second video, posted late Thursday, Anonymous defended its actions.

“We decided to identify the assailant so every one could know who to avoid, not to attack,” the video says.

“If you rape a woman in Halifax, Anonymous will expose you, if you hurt a child, we will expose you. We do not wait on courts, as we all know how that works — big money gets you big lawyers and these pedophiles and rape hounds are set free.

“We will not sit by and allow this to happen in our city.”

The video says that the university might become the target of others.

“This is not a threat, it is a gut feeling. Threats are illegal, sharing your feelings is not.”

National Post

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RelatedTristin Hopper: The Ashley Madison hack shows everything wrong with vigilantismPreying on predators: Anonymous group has noble intentions but risky tactics, police sayChris Selley: Rehtaeh Parsons and the perils of vigilantism

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