He Blackmailed Teen Online From Abroad, Is Convicted

Aydin Coban guilty of sexual extortion of Canada's Amanda Todd, who took her own life
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 8, 2022 5:30 PM CDT
Man Who Blackmailed Teen Online Is Convicted
A young girl holds a pink candle during a memorial honoring teen Amanda Todd in Maple Ridge, B.C., in 2012. Todd, a victim of bullying, took her own life.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

(Newser) – A Canadian jury has found a Dutch man guilty of extortion, harassment, and other charges related to a case of a Canadian teenager who was blackmailed into exposing herself in front of a webcam. The 15-year-old later committed suicide after detailing her online harassment in a YouTube video watched by millions around the world. The jury in the British Columbia Supreme Court trial of Aydin Coban, 44, found him guilty on all charges he faced, including communication with a young person to commit a sexual offense, and possession and distribution of child pornography in relation to teenager Amanda Todd. She died in 2012, per the AP.

Coban was extradited from the Netherlands to Canada in 2020 after being convicted in Amsterdam of similar charges involving dozens of young girls and gay men. Amanda Todd brought the problem of cyberbullying to mainstream attention in Canada after she posted the video on YouTube in which she told her story with handwritten signs, describing how she was lured by a stranger to expose her breasts on a webcam. The picture ended up on a Facebook page made by the stranger, to which her friends were added. She was repeatedly bullied, despite changing schools, before killing herself weeks after posting the video.

"If I could say a message to Amanda, it would be that we always believed you," said her mother, Carol Todd, outside the courtroom after the verdict, per the CBC. "She's not here, but she may be somewhere watching us," she added. "This is her moment." Carol Todd said she hoped the case would set a precedent, showing that an online harasser can be extradited to stand trial in another country. (Read more Amanda Todd stories.)

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