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Dutch man Aydin Koban found guilty of sexually assaulting BC teen Amanda ToddOUS News

WARNING: This article contains details of sexual extortion and may affect people who have experienced it or know someone affected by it.

Dutch citizen Aydin Koban has been convicted of two counts of extortion, possession of child pornography, luring children and criminal assault against B.C. teenager Amanda Todd, whose story spread around the world after she died by suicide nearly a decade ago Was.

After a day of deliberation, a jury delivered the verdict in the Supreme Court in New Westminster, BC.

Todd’s mother, Carol Todd, sat in the back row of the audience gallery on Saturday taking notes. When Coban returned to the courtroom, he switched places.

She reacted strongly as each guilty verdict was read out in court.

Dressed in a navy blue button-down shirt, Coban showed some emotion while teaching the verdict.

Amanda Todd smiling in a selfie.  He is wearing a gold cross and a white top.
Amanda Todd died by suicide on October 10, 2012, after posting a video on YouTube saying she had been blackmailed by an online predator. (telus original)

Todd was overjoyed as he spoke to CBC outside the courtroom. While she said she doesn’t want to use “happy words” to describe the verdict, she said it was exciting to finally see some closure. She described the conviction on all counts as an “equitable” decision – one that came as a relief, many years after she lost her daughter.

“If I could say one message to Amanda, it would be that we always believe in you,” she said.

“She’s not here, but she’s watching us somewhere. This is her moment,” Todt said, thanking the B.C. government, Crown prosecutors and Dutch officials for their hard work.

Carol Todd looks away from the camera.  She is wearing a black top and her hair is purple in colour.
Amanda Todd’s mother, Carol Todd, is pictured outside law courts on June 6, 2022 in New Westminster, BC. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Todd said he believes the trial has set a precedent in Canada and around the world showing that people suspected of “sextortion” can be extradited to stand trial in another country.

The verdict comes after seven weeks of testimony involving dozens of witnesses, demonstrations and evidence presented by Crown prosecutors before the start of closing arguments.

Coban’s defense attorney did not ask for any evidence in the trial.

On Friday, BC Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin spent the day instructing jurors that they could only find Coban guilty of the charges against him if the Crown proved his case beyond a reasonable doubt. Otherwise, he said, they should acquit him.

Over the course of several hours, Devlin reviewed evidence and evidence presented to jurors during a lengthy and complicated hearing. She guided jurors through a definition of each criminal count sworn against Coban, explaining to them that the Crown would have to meet the necessary criteria to be convicted.

After returning to discuss the next steps in sentencing, Devlin said he spoke to each of the jury members individually and thanked them for their work.

“He asked me to express his sincere appreciation for your professionalism and conduct for both the Taj and the Defense [the trial],” He said.

years of persecution

Todd died by suicide on October 10, 2012, at the age of 15, after being exploited online over a three-year period. Before he died, he told his story in a nine-minute video posted on YouTube.

The video spread around the world after her death, garnering 14.8 million views as of August.

Coban, 44, pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges related to Todd’s case, including extortion, possession of child pornography and soliciting children. He was not charged with Todd’s death.

Crown Attorney Lewis Kenworthy closed his arguments early last week, saying there was a “treasury of information” linking Coban to Todd’s harassment and extortion.

Earlier at trial, a Dutch official testified that a deleted video file called “AmandaTodd.wmv” was played on a device in December 2010, corresponding to a time when Todd was being actively harassed. was.

Two mugshots of Aydin Coban.  He is wearing a black shirt with white stripes.  He has medium length brown flowing hair and a black French beard.
Aydin Coban is shown in photographs at the time of his arrest, which was recorded in an exhibit during his trial in the B.C. Supreme Court. Amanda Todd, 44, has been convicted of two counts of extortion, possession of child pornography, soliciting children and criminal assault. (BC Supreme Court)

But Coban’s defense argued that sharing a link “is not child pornography.”

The video was sent as a link, but had nothing to show that it was stored as data on the confiscated equipment, Joseph Saullier told the jury on the second day of his closing argument.

Defense attorneys also denied Crown’s allegations that Coban was behind 22 online accounts that harassed and extorted Todd.

Earlier in the trial, the jury listened to a B.C. RCMP officer who initially investigated Todd’s allegations of harassment in 2011. He said Todd wanted the messages troubling him to stop.

Todd’s parents went to the police when the messages continued after their daughter changed schools.

Todd’s mother, Carol, is sitting in the back of the courtroom a few meters from the prisoner’s box each day of Coban’s trial. The accused sat on his back.

Crown and Coban’s defense team will meet again with Justice Devlin on Thursday, August 12 to set a date for a sentencing hearing.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, here’s how to get help:

from this guide Addiction and Mental Health Center Explains how to talk about suicide to someone you’re worried about.

Police also offer the following tips to avoid being a victim of sexual extortion:

  • Never answer video calls from people you don’t know.
  • If you accidentally connect with someone you don’t know on the live stream, get in touch immediately.
  • Always answer video calls with the camera turned off until the person calling you is identified.

Anyone who finds themselves targeted should immediately stop communicating with the suspected scammer and report it to the police. Child abuse can be reported online at www.cybertip.ca.

Police also say that victims should not comply with threats, and should keep a record of any correspondence with the perpetrator.

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