NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — Amada Todd’s mother has told the B.C. Supreme Court that her daughter let out “a shriek” before running downstairs to show her a Facebook profile using a topless photo of the Port Coquitlam teenager as its main image.
Carol Todd testified Tuesday on the second day of the trial of Aydin Coban, a Dutch man who prosecutors say waged a campaign of “sextortion” against the teenager, who died in October 2012.
Coban has pleaded not guilty to extortion, harassment, communication with a young person to commit a sexual offence and two counts of possessing child pornography.
Todd told the jury trial that she and Amanda stood in the kitchen in November 2011 looking at the Facebook page and her daughter asked what they were going to do about it.
Carol Todd said she recognized that the Facebook user was “friends” with people Amanda knew in real life, and her daughter feared going to school.
Around that time, she said, Amanda switched schools for the second time in as many years because of bullying from peers during the alleged online harassment.
Carol Todd testified that Amanda was a “free spirit” who didn’t always like to follow her mother’s rules, including restrictions on computer and internet use, so the teenager ended up spending more time at her father’s house.
In her opening statement on Monday, Crown prosecutor Louise Kenworthy told the jury that Amanda had been the victim of a “persistent campaign” of online “sextortion” from late 2009 to February 2012, before her death at age 15.
Kenworthy said the “sextortionist” used more than 20 fake usernames to contact Amanda, threatening to share photos showing her with her hand in her underwear and exposing her breasts, unless she performed sexual acts in front of a web camera.
She said messages were sent to more than 100 Facebook users who Amanda knew, telling them she had exposed her breasts online and including a hyperlink.
The prosecutor told the jury that the Crown expected to present evidence and call witnesses to show that the numerous accounts allegedly used to harass Amanda were operated by Coban, who was arrested by Dutch police in January 2014.
Dutch officers searched Coban’s home and seized a desktop computer, a laptop and hard drives, and Kenworthy said the Crown also expects that a B.C. RCMP officer will testify that he found material linked to Amanda on the devices.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2022.
Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press