Amanda Todd: Dutchman sentenced for fatal cyber-stalking

Amanda Todd
Before Amanda Todd died in 2012, she uploaded a video describing the bullying she had suffered

A Dutchman convicted of sexually extorting a teenage Canadian girl who later took her own life has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Aydin Coban, 44, will serve his sentence in the Netherlands, prosecutors in British Columbia said.

He was convicted in August of child luring, child pornography, extortion and harassment of Amanda Todd.

Amanda, who was then 15, posted a video in 2012 detailing how the cyber-stalker had tormented her.

Warning: This article contains details that some readers may find upsetting.

The YouTube video was watched millions of times and sparked a national debate about online bullying.

Coban was sentenced to 11 years in prison by a Dutch court in 2017 for blackmailing and harassing dozens of young women on the internet, some as far away as Britain, Canada and the United States.

He was later extradited to Canada where he faced the additional charges. He was not, however, charged with Amanda’s death.

The 13-year sentence handed down on Friday will begin after the term imposed by the Dutch court has expired, said the British Columbia Prosecution Service.

Coban showed no remorse in court in New Westminster as he learned his fate.

Amanda killed herself five weeks after uploading her widely watched YouTube video, and after explicit photos of her were leaked online.

Coban harassed the girl for nearly three years online using 22 separate fake social media accounts.

He sent messages to her between 2009, starting when she was 13, and 2012. In some, he threatened to send explicit images of her to her friends, family and school staff if she didn’t agree to give him a webcam “show”.

Coban hid his IP address, so police were not able to trace the messages back to him at the time.

During Coban’s sentencing hearing this week, prosecutors argued for a 12-year prison term to protect other young people from his “repugnant” abuse. They said they believed Coban was at high risk of offending again.

Coban’s defence lawyers had pushed for a two-year sentence, arguing a longer punishment would be “disproportionate” to the crimes he committed.

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin read the sentence in court on Friday.

She said that although Coban’s behaviour was not the “dominating factor” in the girl’s suicide, she did find that the “profound harm” he caused her aggravated mental health and substance abuse issues, according to CBC News.

“Ruining Amanda’s life was Mr Coban’s expressly stated goal and was, sadly, one that he achieved,” she said.

His sentencing hearing in Canada began shortly after the 10th anniversary of Amanda’s death. Her mother, Carol, has since become an outspoken advocate against online bullying and sex extortion.

“We need to talk about it,” she said. “We need to make sure there is justice for Amanda.”

Source: bbc.co.uk

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