THE HAGUE, Netherlands – An Amsterdam court sentenced a 38-year-old Dutchman to almost 11 years in jail on Thursday, March 16, for blackmailing dozens of young women into performing sex acts in front of their webcams.
Aydin C., who under Dutch law is identified by only his first name, was "sentenced to 10 years and 243 days in prison for internet fraud and blackmail," the court said.
Arrested in 2014 after Facebook alerted the Dutch police, he was found guilty of harassing women from as far away as Britain, Canada, Norway and the United States.
He "abused dozens of young girls by gaining their trust through speaking with them on the internet," the court said.
"He then abused that trust by forcing them to perform sexual acts before their webcams. If they refused to do it again, he threatened to send their images to their relatives or to publish them on pornography sites."
The defendant had denied 72 charges including computer sex crimes such as making and storing of child pornography, as well as extortion, fraud and hard drug possession.
A Dutch court had ruled in June that Aydin C. could be extradited to Canada to stand trial over the death of 15-year-old Amanda Todd. That ruling is under appeal before the Dutch Supreme Court.
Todd committed suicide in October 2012 after being tormented by an anonymous cyberbully.
Todd's mother, Carol Todd, flew from British Columbia to The Netherlands to attend the hearings in February.
She told the Dutch news agency ANP on Thursday that she was "relieved and pleased" with the result.
"I hope that this sentence will help the wounds of all the victims heal. It has been a long journey for all of us in the search for justice for Amanda."
Although she said attending the trial was difficult, she had wanted to look Aydin C. in the eye.
She told Dutch broadcaster NPO in February that her daughter would have "wanted to be face to face with him, and tell him what his actions did to her. But she can't. So I'm going to be the one who is sort of standing up for my daughter." – Rappler.com