The jury in a BC Supreme Court trial against a man accused of molesting and extorting teenage girl Amanda Todd has now reached a verdict.
It took less than two days to reach a guilty verdict on five counts.
A short break for the jury occurred Saturday afternoon as questions were asked of the attorneys, who were called back into the courtroom.
The jury only reached its verdict two hours after the break.
Aydin Coban, 44, has pleaded not guilty to five charges including possession of child pornography, extortion, criminal harassment and communicating with a young person to commit a sex offence.
The jury found him guilty on all five counts.
Judge Martha Devlin issued instructions to the jury before deliberations began, urging them to be “extra cautious” about statements made by Amanda Todd before her death.
Devlin said that because Todd died in October 2012 and was therefore not testified or subjected to cross-examination by Aydin Coban’s attorneys, the jury must be aware of the limitations of the evidence presented.
The jury members were instructed to carefully review the statements Todd made to her parents, police officers, and in her electronic communications as they reviewed Coban’s verdict.
The jury is now deliberating on the online extortion case of a British Columbia teenager
The trial hinged on the identity of what the Crown dubbed the “sextortionist,” who used 22 online aliases to sexually blackmail Todd in four “episodes” before taking her own life in 2012.
The Crown’s theory is based on two assumptions: that one person manages all accounts and that one person is Coban.
However, defense attorney Joseph Saulnier told the 12-member jury that the evidence from the two drives tells a different story.
Facebook records for several of the aliases presented at the trial showed that through 2012 and late 2013, the extortionist used operating systems and Internet browsers not found on any of the hard drives, he told the court.
“This is a significant gap in Crown’s theory,” he said. “This is actually evidence that people are accessing these Facebook accounts from other devices, from other computers… evidence that other people are using these Facebook accounts.”
The trial heard evidence that Coban worked as a “computer guy” repairing computers and replacing hard drives.
The Crown has argued that Coban was the sole owner and operator of the two hard drives and that while he had a “hard drive swapping” job, that would not explain their repeated association with other devices he owned.
“The evidence wasn’t just that Mr. Coban just swapped hard drives and that’s all he did … he fixed computers, he was a computer guy,” Saulnier said.
“It makes sense that if Mr. Coban looks at someone else’s device, he’ll connect it to something.”
Evidence on hard drives suggests someone else molested Amanda Todd, defense says
Todd was 15 when she committed suicide in 2012 after posting a video describing how she was being tormented by an online harasser. Millions of people have seen the video since her death.
Coban was extradited from the Netherlands to Canada in 2020.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sextortion or sexual assault, or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Crime Victim Resource Center for help. They can also be reached toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
There’s more to come…
Jury decides fate of defendant in BC Amanda Todd sextortion case
— With files from Canadian Press and Simon Little of Global BC.
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
https://globalnews.ca/news/9042226/amanda-todd-trial-guilty-verdict-on-five-charges-for-aydin-coban/ Amanda Todd trial: guilty verdict on five counts for Aydin Coban