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B.C. teen Amanda Todd victim of a ‘persistent campaign’ of online ‘sextortion’: Crown

Aydin Coban pleaded not guilty Monday at the start of his trial in New Westminster
Carol and Amanda Todd. (THE NEWS file)

A Crown prosecutor told British Columbia Supreme Court that a teenage girl was the victim of a “persistent campaign” of online “sextortion” for several years before her death in October 2012.

Louise Kenworthy told a jury trial in New Westminster that Amanda Todd was 12 to 15 years old when she was harassed and extorted on social media through accounts with 20 separate usernames.

Aydin Coban pleaded not guilty Monday at the start of his trial on charges of extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and two counts of processing child pornography.

In her opening statement to the jury, Kenworthy said the “sextortionist” came to possess photos of Todd with her hand in her underwear and exposing her breasts, and threatened to send them to her friends and family unless she performed sexual acts in front of a web camera.

Kenworthy told the jury the Crown expects to present evidence and call witnesses to show that the numerous accounts allegedly used to harass and extort Todd were operated by Coban, who was arrested by Dutch police at his home in January 2014.

She showed the jury examples of messages sent to Todd using Facebook, YouTube and Skype, including one whose author said they would disappear if Todd put on “10 shows.”

The Crown said messages were also sent to more than 100 Facebook users who Todd knew, telling them she had exposed her breasts online and including a link to a website.

Kenworthy says Dutch officers searched Coban’s home and seized a desktop computer, a laptop and hard drives of which forensic copies were made and sent to RCMP in B.C., she said.

An RCMP officer who examined the material is expected to testify that he found evidence of accounts allegedly used to harass Todd on one or more of those seized devices, the prosecutor said.

The trial will also hear evidence of file names that had referred to the teenager, although the contents of those files were no longer viewable, Kenworthy said.

—The Canadian Press

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