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Sentencing begins for Dutch man convicted of extorting B.C. teenager Amanda Todd

A sentencing hearing began again Tuesday for a Dutch man found guilty of harassing and extorting British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd, nearly 10 years to the day since she died.

Aydin Coban is set to be sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court on several charges after he was convicted of tormenting Amanda online over a period of three years.

Coban, who is in his mid-40s, sat behind a pane of glass in the prisoner’s box in a navy button-up shirt. He sat with his back to Amanda’s family — including her mother and brother — who were in the gallery.

In the coming days, the court will hear submissions from Crown and defence lawyers about how severe his sentence should be.

Amanda’s mother, Carol Todd, has said she will read a victim impact statement to the court.

Coban’s sentencing was initially set to take place last month. It was postponed after a Crown prosecutor tested positive for COVID-19.

A jury convicted Coban in August of extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and possession and distribution of child pornography.

At the end of a nine-week trial, Crown prosecutor Louise Kenworthy told the jury a “treasure trove of information” connected Coban to Todd’s harassment, including information found on two hard drives seized from his home.

WATCH | Carol Todd shares her hopes for Aydin Coban’s sentencing:

Carol Todd speaks outside courthouse

Carol Todd shares her hopes for Aydin Coban’s sentencing which is scheduled to resume in October.

Lawyers for Coban, who was extradited from the Netherlands to face the charges, argued the Crown’s evidence didn’t prove that he was the person behind numerous online accounts used to harass the teenager from Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Amanda Todd was 15 when she died by suicide on Oct. 10, 2012, shortly after posting a YouTube video that described the torment she endured online.

She used flash cards to recount her ordeal in the video that’s since been viewed by millions.

Coban was not charged in relation to Amanda’s death. 

Two mugshots of Aydin Coban. He is wearing a black shirt with white stripes. He has medium-length grey flowing hair amd a black French beard.
Aydin Coban is shown in photographs at the time of his arrest that were entered in an exhibit at his trial in B.C. Supreme Court. (B.C. Supreme Court)

Before Coban was extradited to B.C., a Dutch court sentenced him to almost 11 years in prison for similar online offences following a trial in Amsterdam in 2017, where he was accused in the online abuse of 34 girls and five men.

That court heard Coban pretended to be a boy or girl and persuaded his victims to perform sexual acts in front of a web camera, then posted the images online or blackmailed them by threatening to do so.

He was convicted of fraud and internet blackmail and given the maximum sentence for what Dutch legal authorities described as “the devastating consequences of his behaviour” on the lives of his victims.

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