The man accused of playing a role in the death of Amanda Todd has been sentenced to almost 11 years in prison in the Netherlands in an unrelated case.
Aydin Coban, 38, was found guilty of 72 charges, including child pornography and attempted sexual assault of multiple girls, and one count of webcam blackmail.
Also among those charges were computer intrusion, fraud, forgery and possession of hard drugs. On Thursday, he was given the maximum sentence of 10 years, 243 days in jail.
Amanda Todd’s story
Port Coquitlam teenager Amanda Todd died by suicide in October 2012, not long after she posted a YouTube video that went viral.
In it, she shared her story, as she flipped through cue cards – detailing how someone had taken an explicit video of her online, and shared it on the internet.
It led to the teen being bullied by others for years, and having to change schools multiple times.
Coban was ‘ruthless’ extortionist
The same year that Todd died, Coban was arrested in the Netherlands. He pleaded not guilty to all the Dutch charges, which were not related to Todd.
A Dutch court document issued Thursday described how Coban blackmailed his victims in a “ruthless” manner for his own financial gain.
He established contact online with multiple young girls, says the document, winning their trust by pretending to be a young boy or girl.
“In many cases, he … led girls to perform webcam sex acts,” says the document. “Later, he… demanded new shows in front of the webcam.”
The document explains that he would get the girls to comply by threatening to send explicit images of them to people they knew or post them online.
“If a girl did not respond to his demands, [the] suspect [did] not hesitate to actually send sexual images to the family and friends of the victim or [post them] on the Web,” reads the document.
“You can guess what large and damaging impact this may have on the personal development of young girls.”
Coban is now facing extradition to Canada, where he is also accused of charges relating to child pornography, extortion and harassment in relation to Amanda Todd.
If he is found guilty in Canada, any sentence resulting would be added to the sentence he has already received in the Netherlands. Coban has denied all charges relating to Todd.
Editor’s note: All quotes from the court document issued in the Netherlands are a translation from the original Dutch.
Where to go for help
If you feel affected by the issues in this story, or are having suicidal thoughts, consider getting help through the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.
You can find advice and contact a crisis centre in your area at this link: suicideprevention.ca. Crisis centres are available throughout Canada, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Suicide warning signs
- Sudden marked changes in behaviour or appearance
- Talking, joking, writing, or becoming increasingly preoccupied with suicide and death
- Preparations for death, such as giving away possessions
- A previous suicide attempt
- Decline in school or work attendance/performance
- Expressions of a sense of hopelessness and/or helplessness
- Sudden losses e.g. financial, relationship break-up, death of a loved one
- Sudden changes in eating and sleeping patterns
How you can help
- Ask the person directly if they are considering suicide. This will not ‘give them the idea’, but it does show that you care and are taking them seriously
- Listen and provide non-judgmental support
- Arrange for the person to get help, whether from a crisis centre, hospital, mental health centre, or another local resource
- Do not leave a suicidal person alone
- Do not agree to keep another person’s suicidal thoughts a secret