CANADA Dutchman Aydin Coban convicted of sexually extorting British Columbian...

Dutchman Aydin Coban convicted of sexually extorting British Columbian teenager Amanda Todd.


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Sextortion Amanda Todd

9 years ago

Duration 45:13

Through never-before-seen videos and online chats, The Fifth Estate tells the true story of what happened to Amanda Todd, a British Columbian teenager who is stalked by a revealing photo online. Blackmail and sexual extortion that drove her to death and a new generation of online predators that threaten many other young people who venture online.

WARNING. This article contains detailed information about sexual extortion and may affect those who have experienced it or know someone who has been affected by it.

Dutch citizen Aidin Koban was found guilty of extortion, two counts of possession of child pornography, seduction of children and the criminal stalking of Amanda Todd, a British Columbian teenager whose story has been around the world since she committed suicide nearly a decade ago.

The jurors returned their verdict in New Westminster, British Columbia Supreme Court after a one-day deliberation.

Todd’s mother, Carol Todd, sat in the back row of the audience gallery on Saturday, taking notes. It moved when Koban returned to the courtroom, within sight of him.

She reacted violently to the reading of each guilty verdict in court.

Koban, dressed in a dark blue button-down shirt, showed almost no emotion during the announcement of the verdict.

Amanda Todd smiles for a selfie.  She wears a gold cross and a white top.

Amanda Todd committed suicide on October 10, 2012 after posting a video on YouTube stating that she had been blackmailed by an online predator. (Telus Originals)

Speaking to the CBC outside the courtroom, Todd appeared overjoyed, describing the conviction on all counts as a “fair” decision that came as a relief years after the loss of her daughter.

The verdict comes after seven weeks of testimony involving dozens of witnesses, physical evidence and evidence presented by Crown prosecutors prior to the closing debate.

Coban’s lawyer did not provide any evidence in court.

Two photographs of Aydin Koban.  He is wearing a black shirt with white stripes.  He has gray, flowing, medium-length hair and a black French beard.

Aydın Koban is shown in photographs during his arrest, featured in an exhibit during his trial in the British Columbia Supreme Court. The 44-year-old was convicted of extortion, two counts of possession of child pornography, seduction of children, and felony charges against Amanda Todd. (Supreme Court of British Columbia)

On Friday, British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Martha Devlin spent the day instructing jurors that they could only find Coban guilty of the charges against him if the Crown proved right beyond a reasonable doubt. Otherwise, she said, he must be acquitted.

For several hours, Devlin reviewed the testimony and evidence that was presented to the jury during a long and difficult trial. She walked the jury through the definition of each criminal charge sworn against Coban, explaining to them the criteria the Crown must meet in order to convict.

Returning to discuss next steps towards sentencing, Devlin said she spoke to each jury member individually and thanked them for their work.

“They asked me to convey my sincere gratitude to the crown and the protection for your professionalism and behavior throughout [the trial],” she said.

Years of persecution

Todd committed suicide on October 10, 2012 at the age of 15 after being exploited online for three years. Before she died, she told her story in a nine-minute video posted on YouTube.

The video went viral after her death, with 14.8 million views as of August.

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

Crown attorney Louise Kenworthy concluded her case earlier last week by saying there was a “treasury of information” linking Coban to Todd’s harassment and extortion.

Earlier in court, a Dutch officer testified that a deleted video file called “AmandaTodd.wmv” was being played on one of the devices in December 2010, corresponding to a time when Todd was actively harassed.

Carol Todd looks away from the camera.  She wears a black top and has purple hair.

Carol Todd, mother of Amanda Todd, is pictured outside the New Westminster, British Columbia courthouse on June 6, 2022. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

But Coban’s defense argued that the distribution of the link “does not constitute child pornography.”

The video was sent as a link, but there was nothing to indicate that it was stored as data on the seized devices, Joseph Saulnier told jurors on the second day of his closing statements.

Defense counsel also disputed the Crown’s claims that Coban was behind 22 online accounts that harassed and extorted money from Todd.

Earlier in the trial, the jury heard from the British Columbian RCMP officer who originally investigated Todd’s 2011 allegations of harassment. He said that Todd wanted the messages she was receiving to stop.

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

Todd’s mother, Carol, attended Koban’s trial every day, sitting at the back of the courtroom a few meters from the prison box. The defendant sat with his back to her.

The Crown and Koban defense team will meet with Judge Devlin again 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 where to get help:

This guide is from Center for Addictions and Mental Health describes how to talk about suicide with someone you’re worried about.

The police also suggest the following to avoid becoming a victim of sexual extortion:

  • Never answer video calls from strangers.
  • If you mistakenly connect to a stranger on live TV, hang up immediately.
  • Always answer video calls with the camera turned off until you know the caller’s identity.

Anyone who has been targeted should immediately stop communicating with the suspected scammer and report it to the police. Child exploitation can be reported online at

Police also say that victims should not give in to threats and should keep a record of any correspondence with the perpetrator.

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