Remember the story of Kim and Nicole? The two women who used pseudonyms to go public with allegations that an ex-boyfriend was harassing them with revenge porn? The women who complained local police mishandled their case?
Halifax police confirmed last week they have handed Nicole and Kim’s case to police in Pasco County, Florida, where the ex-boyfriend’s parents live. As Halifax police spokesperson Theresa Rath explains, it’s their jurisdiction.
“Based on our investigation, the incidents are believed to have originated in Florida and, as a result, Pasco County Sherriff's Office has jurisdiction over these files,” Rath writes in an email.
Halifax police have sent all the information they have on the case to Pasco County police, and will help the sheriff's office “in any way possible,” she says. However, Rath reveals police are not applying for a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty—which allows police to work together across borders—because Pasco County now has the case.
Halifax police have now closed their investigation.
Both Nicole and Kim report the CyberSCAN unit, the justice department wing created after the death of Rehtaeh Parsons, is actively working on their case. But that unit deals with civil rather than criminal actions, meaning they can’t charge anyone for a crime. Nicole says CyberSCAN is no longer working with police on their case.
Following The Coast’s investigation into how police handled their case, deputy Halifax police chief Bill Moore said on CBC Radio, “There’s no way I can put sugar on this,” and, “it’s probably not our best effort.”
In a sit-down interview with The Coast on October 7, Moore said he had assigned a senior supervisor to go over the case to figure out whether it was investigated properly. At the time, Moore said this review shouldn’t take more than one or two weeks and would be made public when complete. A month later, that review is not ready yet. Rath explains it was delayed because officers assigned to these types of reviews oversee all investigations, and “it has been very busy of late.”
A draft of the review is finished, Rath says. When it’s done, the supervisor will discuss the details with the deputy chief. After that, police will speak publicly about the review’s “overall organizational findings,” Rath says, but not the details of the case.
It’s the second time Halifax police have closed Nicole’s case. In April, a Halifax officer called the wrong Nicole. She didn’t know what they were talking about and denied the allegations. As a result, Halifax police shut the file, but quickly re-opened it when the real Nicole and Kim threatened to go to the media. Now that Halifax has shifted the case to Pasco County, the two women are concerned it will be the same old story, again.
After all, it was a Pasco County officer who reportedly responded to Nicole’s complaint of revenge porn, attempted rape and online harassment by saying, “I’m going to give you the same advice that I give to everyone else with this problem: stop using social media and get rid of your computer.”
“I have a feeling that it is going to be much like my experience here and I have little hope that there will be an investigation into my case,” Nicole says.
The Pasco County Sherriff’s Office confirmed they have directed Nicole and Kim’s case to their major crimes unit but declined to provide any other information on the case.
Kim worries police may have shifted the case to the wrong county, since she believes Nicole’s ex-boyfriend lives in Tampa, Florida—his parents are the ones in Pasco County. “Well I mean handing it off to Florida police might have been the way to go had they handed it off to Tampa, where the crime is being committed.”
“But I don’t know how the States do things,” Kim says. “We’ll see. I don’t think anything will be done with it.”