Carol Todd has been reassured by Crown counsel that the province will pursue its court case against the Dutch man accused of sexually exploiting and blackmailing her late daughter, Amanda Todd.
Carol Todd received numerous emails after Dutch authorities dropped international child pornography charges against Aydin Coban. People were upset that he might never have to answer for his alleged crimes against Amanda.
“Not only has Amanda affected me, she has affected tons and tons of people – and not only in Canada, but around the world,” her mother said.
But Todd has been told that after Coban’s trial in the Netherlands, the B.C. Crown Counsel’s service will want to put him on trial here. Todd would prefer that.
“I would like to see him on Canadian soil,” she said. “I feel safer on my own soil.”
Coban is accused of sexually exploiting and blackmailing Amanda Todd, who killed herself in 2012 following years of torment online.
The 35-year-old man is facing five charges in Canada, including extortion, Internet luring, criminal harassment, as well as possession and distribution of child pornography.
Dutch police arrested him in January on different allegations, involving victims in the Netherlands.
Coquitlam RCMP began investigating the Todd case in December 2010, when sexually explicit images of the teen, just 13 at the time, began circulating online.
In September 2012, a month before she took her own life, Amanda Todd posted a heart-wrenching video to YouTube detailing years of years of torment she endured as the target of bullies online and at school. On hand-written pages, she described being asked to flash her breasts online and how that one indiscretion spiraled out of control. She wrote that her blackmailer sent the screen shot to her classmates, and continued to extort her even when she switched schools.
Her video went viral, and fueled a global conversation about online bullying.
Todd lived in Port Coquitlam at the time of her death, but previously attended schools in Maple Ridge, where some bullying occurred. She was at Westview secondary for half of Grade 8 and the beginning of Grade 9, then attended at Maple Ridge secondary for two months. In total, she attended schools in Maple Ridge for a little over a year.
On Oct. 10 this year, the anniversary of her death, a few of her Maple Ridge friends organized a small candlelight gathering to remember her, said Carol Todd.
Amanda Todd’s account was strikingly similar to other allegations leveled against Coban. He is accused of approaching underage girls via the internet and seducing them into performing sexual acts in front of a webcam.
He would save images, and use them to blackmail the girls, targeting dozens of them in several countries, including the Netherlands, the U.K., and the U.S. The man is also accused of extorting men in a similar way for money.
Neil Mackenzie, spokesperson for the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch, confirmed “the branch still continues to pursue charges here.”
That will involved an extradition order for the accused, and that process is dealt with by the federal government.
Todd said the case against Coban is groundbreaking, and that a “smoking gun” is hard for investigators to find in this kind of case.
“It’s historical. Everyone is going to be watching to see what happens.”
His case in the Netherlands should wrap up next year.
Cam Off initiative
Carol Todd is promoting a new cyber-safety initiative known as #CamOff.
She was named an Outstanding Canadian Citizen by Telus, and the honour was accompanied by a donation of $2,000. She used that as seed money for #CamOff, an initiative of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society.
#CamOff is a reusable decal that covers the lenses of webcams and smartphone cams. The decal is the size of a dime and can be easily taken off and on.
#CamOff was created in the wake of the discovery of people being secretly watched via their own webcams in the privacy of their homes or places they should consider safe.
Anyone interested in obtaining their own decal can email email@example.com or direct message to Twitter @AToddLegacy on how to get your decals.
The Amanda Todd Legacy is a non-profit society focused on awareness about bullying, cyber abuse, internet safety and mental wellness.