B.C. teen feared extortion would continue for the rest of her life, Crown tells jury

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NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — British Columbia teenager Amanda Todd feared that the person who was harassing and extorting her would continue for the rest of her life, and there was nothing she could do to stop it, a Crown attorney told B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Kristen LeNoble showed the court a Facebook post that Todd wrote shortly after the harasser had shared sexualized images of her, saying, "I feel so sad, I feel so sick."

The teen from Port Coquitlam, who died nearly a decade ago, had previously written a post asking people to support her, and not judge her, as she feared her harasser was about to distribute content depicting her in a sexual manner, she said.

"This is such a horrible feeling for me," LeNoble read from one of Todd's posts.

She told the jury trial for Aydin Coban, the Dutch man accused of extorting Todd, that the person had been threatening to distribute links to her family, friends and classmates unless she performed a series of sexual "shows" on a web camera.

Coban has pleaded not guilty to extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and possessing child pornography.

At one point, one of the numerous aliases used to extort Todd sent a message telling her she had until the end of the day "until all hell breaks loose," LeNoble said.

The person also threatened to report Todd to child-protection authorities, she said.

LeNoble said Todd had written a Facebook post urging people to block one of the harasser's accounts, saying it was a "sick pedophile" who was blackmailing her.

The teen wrote, "He will send you a link of me, of what I did that was very stupid, but people make mistakes," she said.

Todd implored people not to share any content they may receive, she said.

"I'm like bawling my eyes out," said LeNoble, reading from the post.

LeNoble told the jury on Tuesday that by the time the Crown has finished its closing argument, it will have proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Coban was the person behind 22 separate online aliases used to harass and extort Todd.

Todd had also pushed back against her harasser, LeNoble said, sending them a message saying she hoped they felt guilty for "ruining a young girl's life."

LeNoble showed the jury messages the harasser had exchanged on Facebook with several people Todd was connected with on the site, including one male friend who expressed interest in viewing sexualized images of the teen.

The harasser shared a link to a pornography website, and Todd's Facebook friend responded, "Sick, thanks bro," LeNoble said.

The extortion began just before Todd turned 13 in November 2009, she said.

Crown prosecutor Louise Kenworthy told the jury at the start of the trial almost two months ago that Todd had been the victim of a persistent campaign of online "sextortion" over three years before her death at age 15 in October 2012.

The Crown is expected to continue its arguments for the rest of the week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2022.

Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press

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