“It can happen to you” said Amanda Todd’s mother on news of sentencing
By: Jimmy Kakish
Amanda Todd’s mother Carol is feeling some relief following the sentencing of her daughter’s accused cyberbully in an unrelated, but nonetheless high profile case.
Aydin Coban, 38, of the Netherlands was given 11 years in jail—the maximum sentence for his crimes—in an Amsterdam court Thursday morning on charges of the abuse of 34 young girls and five men.
“I think it was great news. It sets precedence in case history about things like cyber abuse and harassment and extortion,” said Carol Todd. “It hopefully will send a message out there that there are no boundaries against offenders or predators. That you can be caught, even if you are offending other people in different countries.”
Todd is still waiting for a separate trial in Canada, in which he faces five other charges—including possession of child-porn, extortion and luring—for the cyberbullying of Amanda Todd, 15, whose suicide turned the world’s attention to online abuse. Coban will be will be extradited to Canada following the completion of his trial in the Netherlands.
Court documents state Coban gained his victims’ trust by first chatting with them online, where he pretended to be a boy or a girl.
Once Coban’s victims trusted him, he coerced them into performing sexual acts in front of webcams. If they refused, he would threaten to leak the images to family members and porn sites. These were not empty threats. Coban often followed through.
Among the abuse charges, Coban was also accused of blackmail, co-perpetration of rape and attempted rape, as well as multiple child porn offenses
“We always hope that it never happens to us, but in a heartbeat, it can happen to you,” said Todd.
“Everyone out there who uses technology is vulnerable to predatory behaviours of hacking and getting their information taken. It’s more than just that responsibility of cyberbullying education. We really need to be more cognizant of how technology works and have those discussions,” she said.