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Amanda Todd case: Closing arguments underway in trial of man accused of sextorting B.C. teen


Warning: Disturbing details and language.

Closing arguments have begun in the trial of a man accused of sextorting Port Coquitlam, B.C., teen Amanda Todd.

On Tuesday, the Crown announced it had finished presenting its case, and defence counsel for Aydin Coban told the court it would not be calling any evidence.

Coban is charged with extortion, harassment, child luring and possession of child pornography. The Dutch citizen has pleaded not guilty.

The Crown has alleged Todd was the victim of a persistent campaign of online sextortion, from the time she was 12 to when she was 15 years old. Its theory is that someone with 22 phony online accounts tried to use explicit photos of the teen to get her to perform sex acts online, and when she would not, sent links to the images to her family, friends and others. Todd died by suicide in 2012 at the age of 15.

Prosecutor Kristen LeNoble began closing arguments for the Crown by going over communications from various online accounts with different usernames, beginning in November 2009, when Todd was 12, and continuing into February 2012.

“Over the last seven weeks, you have heard from over 30 witnesses, including nine experts. You’ve also seen about 80 exhibits,” LeNoble said, addressing the jury. “Two of the key decisions that you will have to make in this case are what happened, and who was responsible.”

LeNoble said while some of the accounts threatened to distribute video of Todd unless she did what they requested, others complimented her and made sexual comments.

“Luring happens when a person communicates online with a child for a specific kind of unlawful reason,” LeNoble said. “In this case, you will see messages between Amanda and the aliases where the alias calls her pretty, or tries to build a relationship of trust with her.”

LeNoble went over a set of messages she said were sent to Todd over Skype in December 2010, by an account with “todd” in its username. She said the user refers to a video of Todd flashing her chest online, to which the teen eventually responds: “What do I have to do so u won’t show anyone.”

LeNoble said the user replies at one point: “Once a week we just do fun stuff on cam is all.”

“In the Crown’s submission, these messages reference to 'fun stuff on cam' is a sexual reference,” LeNoble said. “These messages are luring messages, they are extortion messages, and they are harassment messages.”

LeNoble also spoke about messages she said were sent to Todd later that same month over YouTube, from an account named “whatsthisman11.”

She said the messages read in part: “Look camwh*re, enough nice guy act. You gonna do as you are told or I f*ck up your life bad, you got that b*tch?”

LeNoble told the court the user goes on to say they will disappear after Todd provides “10 shows.”

“This, in the Crown’s submission, is a real sledgehammer of a harassing, extorting, and luring message,” LeNoble said. “The demand is very clear: Ten shows where you do as I say, and I’ll disappear, or I’m going to f*ck up your life.”

LeNoble also told the court about a Facebook message sent the next day by an account named “Kody Maxson” to 99 other users, including some of Todd’s peers.

LeNoble said the message described a video of Todd flashing her chest, included a link to a porn site, and ended with the words, “haha what a sl*t.”

LeNoble said while some of the people who received the message confronted the sender, including one who called him a creep, others “pile on, criticizing Amanda, or seeking more information, which further adds to the harassment that Amanda experiences.”

LeNoble took the court through a Facebook message she said Todd sent to a cousin about a week later. The message talked about flashing people online about a year earlier.

“I thought it wouldn’t matter and so I did, and when I did it, I got all these compliments that made me feel beautiful,” the message said. “But then he came back and messaged me and if I didn’t do stuff with him on cam he would send it to teachers, coaches friends and family…I got texts from people saying, 'Why did you do it?' I didn’t. I wrecked my life.”

LeNoble told the court in the Crown’s submission, the message showed the impact that the situation was having on the teen.

LeNoble said Todd also shared a message online in April 2011, saying she was “so sorry to everyone that is getting the picture. This guy did it again. And I didn’t want this to happen. Hope you guys can still be there for me and help me through this.”

Then on May 1, LeNoble said, Todd wrote another message: “This guy is still at it. Please, I ask everyone that is getting a message…with a link of me. Cops are going to shut everything down… please, I am begging everyone, do not send to anybody, tell me if you get one. I flashed one time for two seconds last year, and didn’t think it would matter. And I did it because he would (compliment) me, and make me feel special but I learned that’s what they do.”

LeNoble also read a message she said Todd shared two days later, which read: “I’ll admit, you’ve completed your goal. Ruining my life, hurting me, making me cry, and feel bad for what I did. Congrats, you ruined my life. But someday, you’re going to get something back.”

LeNoble indicated the Crown’s closing submissions would take a few days.

Coban’s defence counsel has said previously the case is about whether the Crown can prove who was behind the messages sent to Todd. Top Stories

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