Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Accused in Amanda Todd Cyberbullying Case Denies Tormenting Teen in Open Letter

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Accused in Amanda Todd Cyberbullying Case Denies Tormenting Teen in Open Letter

Article excerpt

Accused cyberbully denies tormenting Amanda Todd

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VANCOUVER - The Dutch man accused of cyberbullying a British Columbia teen who died by suicide has penned an open letter from jail in the Netherlands proclaiming his innocence and denying he was "the so-called tormentor" of Amanda Todd.

Aydin Coban released the four-page, handwritten composition through his lawyer to mark one year of his imprisonment and to address the "many blatant lies" he says have swirled about his case worldwide.

"I'm not the so-called tormentor of Miss. Amanda Todd or of anyone else for that matter. I've been in jail exactly a year now for things I haven't done," he writes in the letter dated Jan. 13.

"Yet the worldwide media and their audience have been branding me as the monster behind it."

Todd was a 15-year-old from Port Coquitlam, B.C., whose image went viral after she died by suicide in October 2012. Not long before her death, she silently used flashcards to recount her disturbing encounters with an online harasser in a video she uploaded to YouTube.

Her story of sexual exploitation spurred a national conversation about online bullying and prompted the Canadian government to introduce legislation that would criminalize the distribution of intimate images without the person's consent.

Coban, then 35, was apprehended by Dutch police in January 2014 on a host of allegations, including that he encouraged underage girls in several countries to perform sexual acts in front of a web camera.

It wasn't until last April that it became known Todd was listed among his alleged victims, and authorities in Canada moved in with their own charges.

RCMP want Coban on five charges including extortion, criminal harassment, Internet luring and child pornography.

None of the allegations against Coban have been proven in any court of law.

B.C.'s criminal justice branch said Wednesday it is preparing materials for an application to the federal Justice Department to seek Coban's extradition, but a spokesman said the case against the man would have to conclude in the Netherlands before he could be tried here. …

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