Thursday 14 December 2017

Dutch man who blackmailed cyberbullying victims over webcam images jailed

The man persuaded his victims to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam, then posted the images online or threatened to do so
The man persuaded his victims to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam, then posted the images online or threatened to do so

A man has been sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison by a Dutch court for cyberbullying dozens of young girls and gay men.

The court convicted the 38-year-old man, identified only as Aydin C, for fraud and blackmail via the internet, according to a statement from the Dutch legal authorities.

It gave him the maximum possible sentence, calling his behaviour "astonishing".

He pretended to be a boy or girl and persuaded his victims to perform sexual acts in front of a webcam, then posted the images online or threatened to do so.

In Canada, he faces a separate trial over the cyberbullying of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old girl whose suicide drew global attention to online abuse.

He denies involvement in any cyberbullying.

The court gave him the maximum possible sentence of 10 years and eight months "because of the devastating consequences his behaviour has on the young lives of the girls" in particular, and out of fear that he could commit new offences if released, the statement said.

He was accused of abusing 34 girls and five gay men. In some cases, the abuse lasted years.

A Dutch court has approved his extradition following his trial in Amsterdam.

He has appealed against that decision and denies involvement in any cyberbullying.

In the Canadian case, he faces charges including extortion, possession of child pornography and attempting to lure a child online.

Amanda brought cyberbullying to mainstream attention by posting a video on YouTube in which she told her story with handwritten signs, describing how she was lured by a stranger to expose her breasts on a webcam.

The picture ended up on a Facebook page made by the stranger, and she was repeatedly bullied, despite changing schools.

She took her own life weeks after posting the video.

AP

Press Association

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