By Kanishka Singh
(Reuters) – A Canadian jury on Saturday found Dutch Aydin Coban guilty of all charges of sexually extorting a British Columbia teenager whose video of her online harassment sparked a global debate on cyberbullying.
Coban, who was extradited to Canada, has been convicted by the British Columbia Supreme Court of racketeering, two charges of possession of child pornography, child locating and criminal harassment against Amanda Todd, the teen who died by suicide in 2012.
Todd sparked an international debate about cyberbullying when she posted a YouTube video describing her online harassment. She committed suicide when she was 15. (https://reut.rs/3vK26d5)
Coban, 44, had pleaded not guilty to five criminal charges related to Todd’s case. He was not charged with Todd’s death.
British Columbia Supreme Court judge Martha Devlin had told the jury that they could find Coban guilty of the charges against him only if the prosecutors proved their case beyond reasonable doubt. Otherwise, they must acquit Coban, Devlin said.
The verdict came after weeks of testimony involving many witnesses and evidence presented by prosecutors before the closing arguments began.
Coban was extradited from the Netherlands to Canada in 2020 after being convicted in Amsterdam on similar charges involving many young girls and gay men.
In those cases, judges had determined that Coban had gained the trust of his victims and then convinced them to send him compromising sexual images. He then threatened to make those images public.
The Supreme Court had found that he complied with those threats and sent sexual images to the families and friends of his victims.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; editing by David Gregorio)