Charges laid in Amanda Todd case: RCMP
A still from Amanda Todd's YouTube video telling the story of years of bullying after having a nude photo sent to classmates. (WENN.COM)
RCMP confirmed Thursday that five charges have been laid in Canada against a 35-year-old Dutch man for the online sexual extortion of B.C. suicide teen Amanda Todd.
Coquitlam B.C., RCMP Insp. Paulette Freill told a news conference the man, whose identity was not released, was charged by the B.C. Crown's office on Thursday with five sex-related counts, including extortion, Internet luring, criminal harassment and child pornography.
"This is truly a day that we've been waiting for," Todd's mother Carol told the news conference.
Todd, 15, of Port Coquitlam, B.C., posted a video online two years ago about being bullied and blackmailed after topless photos of her appeared on the Internet.
She committed suicide in October 2012, a month after the photos surfaced.
According to an official Dutch court release, the accused was arrested in Oisterwijk, Netherlands, in January and brought up on charges related to "dozens" of other victims.
The man is believed to have victims in the Netherlands, England and the United States. He allegedly encouraged underage girls and adult men to perform sex acts for webcams, the court release said.
"The suspect probably also defrauded adult men living outside the Netherlands. These men performed sexual acts in front of the webcam on the assumption that they were in Internet contact with an underage boy. The suspect is thought to have blackmailed the men by threatening to hand the images over to the police," the release said.
The suspect has been held in pretrial detention since his arrest on Dutch charges of possession and distribution of child pornography, fraud, indecent assault, computer intrusion and drug possession.
He first appeared in court on Wednesday.
His lawyer, Christian van Dijk, said the evidence against his client is not strong, and a computer and router seized were from a rental property where his client was staying and could have been accessed from elsewhere.
Van Dijk also said his client had been living alone for years and has no wife or children.