BRIDGEWATER, N.S. – This small Nova Scotia town is reckoning with the long shadow of a criminal prosecution involving so many of its children.Under a national spotlight because of an intimate photo ring that ensnared more than two dozen teenagers — some as young as 13 — Bridgewater is now trying to find a way to move on.On Wednesday, a judge handed conditional discharges to six young men who had shared 19 girls’ images on Dropbox without consent.But in his decision, Judge Paul Scovil implicitly acknowledged the case’s profound impact on the town — and chastised those who gossiped about the girls.Scovil said the young men had accepted responsibility, but others in the town blamed the victims.During sentencing, he relayed comments from the mother of one victim who called the experience “complete hell.”“She described walking into meetings to hear co-workers talking about the Dropbox and calling the girls ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’ and listening to comments such as ‘What kind of parents are they, to have their daughters involved in such a thing?’” said Scovil, adding that the woman eventually took a leave of absence from work over the constant gossip.Bridgewater Mayor David Mitchell said Thursday his constituents needed to find a way to end the judgments.“This is a small community where people know the victims and people know the perpetrators,” said Mitchell in an interview. “There has to be some caution in our community that we’re not going to go down a road of ruining lives through gossip and public shaming.“It doesn’t move us forward as a town. It’s not productive. For the victims, we need to move on as they are moving on.”The case of the six young Bridgewater men was one Canada’s largest involving a relatively untested law introduced in 2015 to combat the non-consensual sharing of intimate images. The law came after the suicide of Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons, whose family says a photo of her allegedly being sexually assaulted was circulated among students at her school in Cole Harbour.The six boys — whose identities are protected from publication under the Youth Criminal Justice Act — made headlines country-wide as their case wound its way through the court, drawing the ire of the community of roughly 8,500 on the province’s South Shore.In an agreed statement of facts, the girls cited a variety of motivations for sending the images. Some young women felt pressured by what they described as persistent requests for intimate images, while others said they were vying for boys’ affections or just joking around, the statement said.Mitchell said the problems revealed by the case weren’t unique to Bridgewater.“Having our town in the national spotlight for something like this, it’s disheartening. For some, it’s been maddening,” he said.“But this can happen to anyone. These weren’t bad kids, and it still happened. It could happen anywhere. Kids today face social pressures that we as adults simply did not have and probably don’t fully comprehend. To move forward, we need to talk to our kids about what happened because it’s happening everywhere in the country.”During Wednesday’s sentencing, Scovil said the young men’s actions and the overall reaction from the community has brought “pain and anguish” upon the young girls.None of the girls were present in court as Scovil appeared to allude to Parsons’ suicide.“We in Nova Scotia have recent experience on a very tragic level dealing with young women who have had their intimate pictures exposed to others,” said Scovil.“It’s discouraging that (society), after all we have gone through in this province, would still look to women and blame them for what took place.”He took defence lawyers to task for arguing in their joint submission that the girls should have known photos shared through Snapchat could have been saved. He said that wrongfully blamed the victims.“Such thinking and such comments harken back to a time of sexual stereotyping that anyone who has been offended against sexually must have put themselves in that position and be asking for it,” said Scovil. “I wish to make it clear to each and every one of the victims and their families: These girls did nothing wrong. It is not their fault.”But defence lawyer Stan MacDonald said that was not the intent of their arguments. He said what the six lawyers did was present an “alternative view.”“At no point in time did we make any attempt whatsoever to blame any victims. I take issue with the comments that the judge made,” said MacDonald outside of court on Wednesday.The boys, who are all from the Bridgewater area, admitted to forming a private Facebook group to exchange photos of the girls, who ranged in age from 13 to 17.Scovil acknowledged that the young men involved in the incident have completed a restorative justice program and have showed remorse for their actions.“I strongly stress that at no time did these young men attempt in any way to place blame on the victims. I am very appreciative of that. The same, however, cannot be said in relation to both (defence) counsel submissions on their behalf and the community at large,” he said.Follow (at)AlyThomson on Twitter.
Source Interlink Media’s enthusiast sports group, GrindMedia, bought Dirt Sports and Off-Road Industry magazines from Ryan Communications Group this week. The deal sets up a new Dirt Sports group within Grind for Source, which also includes existing titles Dirt Rider, ATV Rider, Endurocross and Motocross.com. Ryan Communications founder Jim Ryan will head up the new group.The deal is the second one for GrindMedia, which bought Baseball America last December. The GrindMedia group is Source’s gen-y, young male consumer group, which, says the company, reaches a monthly audience of 20,000,000 along with other brands such as Skateboarder, Bike, Powder and Slam. The latter recently extended its model into Football with the release of TD and TDdaily.com.
WILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things to do in Wilmington on Monday, December 10, 2018:#1) WCTV Fundraiser at Red Heat TavernWant some good food while supporting a great cause? Wilmington Community Television (WCTV) is hosting a fundraiser at Red Heat Tavern (300 Lowell Street) from 4pm to 10pm. All you need to do is bring the flyer below (print it out or show it on your phone) and 10% of your check will go to WCTV. This is for dine-in or take-out. It’s an easy and delicious way to support the station.#2) Family Holiday SingalongThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hosting a holiday sing-along on Monday, December 10 at 6:30pm! David Polansky, an award-winning singer, musician and composer, will present a repertoire of classic holiday songs and original compositions that will encompass Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa! All ages. Register HERE.#3) Wilmington Board of Selectmen MeetingThe Wilmington Board of Selectmen meets at 7pm in Town Hall’s Room 9. (Executive Session precedes the meeting at 6:30pm.) The North Wilmington Train Station, Butters Row Bridge Replacement, the Woburn Street/Lowell Street Intersection, Russell Disposal, and more are on the agenda. Read the full agenda HERE. The meeting is open to the public.#4) Wilmington Housing Authority Meeting MeetingThe Wilmington Housing Authority meets at 5pm in Deming Way’s Community Hall. The Capital Improvement Plan and Vacant Land With Development Potential are on the agenda. Read the full agenda HERE.#5) Wilmington Job Seekers Network MeetingThe Wilmington Memorial Library (175 Middlesex Avenue) is hosting a meeting of its networking group at 10am. Find out what the new tax code is all about and how it may affect you. Beth Logan is an Enrolled Agent with a tax practice and business consulting in Chelmsford. She teaches classes on taxes to laypersons and other Enrolled Agents. She is a nationally published author including articles and two books on taxes. She has an MBA from the University of Maryland and two engineering degrees. Register HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Thank You To Our Sponsor:Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Monday, September 9, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Thursday, September 5, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Sunday, September 8, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”