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Judge instructs jury before deliberations in online extortion case of BC teen Amanda Todd

Written by Javed Iqbal

WARNING: This article contains details about sexual harassment and may affect those who have experienced it or know someone who has.

The BC Supreme Court judge in the trial of a Dutch man accused of harassing and extorting teenager Amanda Todd told the jury to “be especially careful” with the teenager’s statements Friday, ending a week-long trial with final instructions to jurors before they begin. considerations.

Judge Martha Devlin said the jury must be aware of the limitations of evidence given since Todd’s death in 2012, as she did not testify and could not be cross-examined at Aydin Coban’s trial in New Westminster, B.C.

Giving her instructions over several hours Friday, Devlin said jurors should carefully examine the statements Todd made to her parents, police officers and in her electronic communications when considering Coban’s sentence.

Coban, 44, has pleaded not guilty to extortion, harassment, communicating with a young person to commit a sexual offense and possession and distribution of child pornography at the start of the trial two months ago.

Amanda Todd smiles in a selfie.  She is wearing a gold cross and a white top.
Amanda Todd took her own life on October 10, 2012, after posting a video on YouTube in which she said she had been blackmailed by an online predator. (Telus Originals)

Speaking outside the courthouse Friday, Todd’s mother said she believed the Crown did “a really good job” of explaining the complexities of cybercrime, blackmail and case law to the jury throughout the trial, while the defense “blamed the victim ” and “embarrassed” her. deceased daughter.

Carol Todd said it was hard to describe her feelings.

“I’m hopeful, but I can’t base my hope on 100 percent, because if I don’t hear those words – ‘guilty’ – five times, I get really sad, I get really disappointed, and I I go into it rabbit hole. I just have to look at it realistically and hope for the best,” she said.

Before summarizing the evidence and testimony in the 38-day trial, Devlin was careful to say Friday that Coban was not charged in Todd’s death.

Aydin Coban is shown in photographs at the time of his arrest, entered into an exhibit during his trial in the BC Supreme Court. The 44-year-old pleaded not guilty to extortion, possession of child pornography and child luring in connection with cyberbullying Amanda Todd. (BC Supreme Court)

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

The video spread worldwide after her death, with 14.8 million views in August.

Crown prosecutor Louise Kenworthy told the jury in her opening statement that Todd had been the victim of a sustained campaign of online “sextortion”.

Todd’s mother, Carol, has attended Coban’s trial every day, sitting in the back of the courtroom a few feet from the holding box where the accused sat with his back to her.

THE FIFTH ESTATE | The Sextortion by Amanda Todd

The Sextortion by Amanda Todd

Featuring never-before-seen videos and online chats, the fifth property tells the true story of what happened to Amanda Todd, the BC teenager haunted by a revealing image on the Internet. The extortion and sexual blackmail that drove her to her death—and the new breed of online predators that threaten the many other young people who take risks online.

Support is available to anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or that Ending Violence Association of Canada database. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety or the safety of others around you, please call 911.

If you or someone you know is having a hard time, you can get help here:

This guide from Center for Addiction and Mental Health describes how to talk about suicide with someone you are worried about.

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Javed Iqbal

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