British Columbia

B.C. Supreme Court rules Amanda Todd's name can be reported during upcoming trial of accused

Todd took her own life at age 15 in 2012 after posting a video about how she had been sexually exploited online. The constitutional challenge which resulted in the ban on reporting Todd's name being struck down was brought by Todd's mother and a consortium of Canadian media outlets.

Todd, 15, took her own life in 2012 after posting a video about how she was sexually exploited online

Amanda Todd smiles in a selfie. She is wearing a gold cross and a white top.
Amanda Todd was 15 when she took her own life after posting a video on YouTube saying she had been blackmailed by an online predator. (Telus Originals)

A mandatory publication ban that exists on any case involving a victim of child pornography has been struck down in B.C. Supreme Court after a successful constitutional challenge, allowing media to report that the alleged victim in the case is Amanda Todd. 

Todd is the 15-year-old Port Coquitlam girl who took her own life in 2012 after posting a video in which she used flash cards to describe how she sank into depression after being exploited online. 

Dutch man Aydin Coban was charged with extortion, criminal harassment, child luring and child pornography relating to her case.

Coban was extradited from the Netherlands to Canada in December 2020 and has been in custody since.

The constitutional challenge was brought by Todd's mother, Carol Todd, and a consortium of Canadian media outlets.

Carol Todd said she is happy with Monday's ruling. 

"As her parent, not being able to say her name has been difficult and challenging, but now we can move forward," she said. "I can't bring Amanda back, but her story can certainly make other families aware of the digital safety aspect of technology."

Had the constitutional challenge not been successful, Todd would have been largely prevented from speaking publicly about her daughter and media outlets would have been severely restricted in what they could report.

Carol Todd, left, has become an anti-bullying advocate after her daughter Amanda killed herself in 2012. (TELUS Originals)

Coban's trial is expected to start in June, Todd said. 

Since her daughter's death, Todd has worked to raise awareness around bullying, cyberabuse, sextortion and mental health through the Amanda Todd Legacy Society.

The video made by Amanda Todd has been viewed millions of times and her story has been covered extensively by domestic and international media outlets.

In 2017, in an unrelated case, Coban was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison on charges stemming from the abuse of 34 young girls and five men.

According to the Dutch prosecution office, his victims lived in countries including the Netherlands, Australia, Norway, the U.K. and the United States.

In a statement sent to CBC, Coban's lawyer said with media now allowed to fully report on the trial, people need to "remain mindful that Mr. Coban is not charged with Amanda Todd's death."

"Mr. Coban unequivocally denies the allegations against him and looks forward to finally having his trial in this case," said Joseph Saulnier.

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