The man who tormented British Columbia teen Amanda Todd with his suicide has been sentenced to an unprecedented 13 years in prison by a judge who branded him an “Internet sextortionist.”
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Martha Devlin said Friday after Aydin Coban’s calculated actions caused emotional distress and social isolation for the girl and he told Todd that he would ruin her life. Contributed to suicide.
Although the sentence is longer than the 12 years proposed by the king, Devlin said Coban’s conduct required a “severe reprimand”.
He was enjoying the escalating pain of his victims, she said.
“Mr. Coban’s blame is at the extreme end of the spectrum.”
According to arguments presented at sentencing hearings, the longest prison term ever for a similar offense in Canada was about eight years.
Fifteen-year-old Todd’s story caught the world’s attention when he posted a video about his affliction just weeks before his death in 2012. Using flash cards, she described how she was harassed and coerced by an anonymous online predator.
Since then, the video has been viewed millions of times.
Devlin said Todd’s name is known around the world for exposing the dark corners of the internet where predators lure vulnerable children.
The judge said Coban used an arsenal of fake social media accounts and went to great lengths to seek out Todd’s family and friends to maximize the damage.
Cobain, who was extradited to Canada to stand trial, is serving an 11-year sentence in the Netherlands for a similar crime involving 33 young people.
Devlin said his 13-year term will expire when Coban’s Dutch verdict ends in August 2024.
The judge said Coban had refused rehab and was likely to reoffend because there was nothing to indicate he had any insight into his actions.
She said she was unsure whether rehabilitation was a viable option because Koban was unaware of the seriousness of his crime.
Coban’s insults were relentless, knowing that Todd was only 12 when he started harassing her. He used her sophisticated skills to hide behind her 22 pseudonyms and prey on her.
Todd’s family should be considered secondary victims of the crime, she said, experiencing serious harm and continued suffering.
At this week’s sentencing hearing, Cobain’s attorney, Joseph Saulnier, called for a two-year sentence on top of the sentence Cobain already served, saying it would be “devastating.”
Devlin said coercive convictions should be considered “sextortion” if they were against children, reflecting society’s growing understanding of crime.
Devlin said child pornographic images depicting Todd repeatedly raped her.
“She couldn’t escape the images and videos. It was a ‘story that never ended,'” she said, citing Todd’s own description of her ordeal in a 2012 video.
Amanda’s mother, Carol Todd, told the House Women’s Committee earlier this month that the country has learned a lot since the death of her daughter 10 years ago, but that police are pushing more against online harassment. It must be taken seriously.
She said victims should not be shamed into thinking they were responsible.
Todd said the government should also reconsider a law banning cyberbullying with the consent of the King in 2014.
The bill makes it a crime to share personal images without consent, making it clear that criminal offenses such as harassment can also be carried out online.