Amanda Todd's mother wants sextortion added to the Criminal Code

Amanda Todd’s mother wants sextortion added to the Criminal Code

Amanda Todd's mother Carol Todd speaks to the press ahead of the verdict on Aydin Coban.

Now that a guilty verdict has been reached against the cyberbully who caused Amanda Todd to take her own life at the age of 15, her mother, Carol Todd, would like the concept of sextortion to appear in the Criminal Code to better understand this scourge and protect children.

In an interview on the show Early Edition of CBC on Monday, Carol Todd pointed out that there is very little case law regarding sexual extortion.

Sextortion is not in the Criminal Code, only extortion. So I want to see if it is possible to [add it] to the Criminal Code, said Carol Todd.

Amanda Todd took her own life in October 2012, after posting a video on YouTube saying she had been blackmailed by an online predator.

“When Amanda died, we didn't know the word sextortion and we didn't know it existed. We must discuss it, talk about it and above all inform ourselves.

—Carol Todd

Amanda's mother, who has campaigned for years for justice for her daughter, wants to educate other parents so they can better protect their children.

“Communication is so ubiquitous on our devices that we have to set boundaries for our children and chat with them about the internet.

—Carol Todd

According to Statistics Canada, the number of extortion cases reported to police in the country has almost tripled in less than 10 years.

The Canadian Center for Child Protection, based in Winnipeg, explains from data released Thursday that there has been an increase in sexual extortion crimes targeting young people, mostly boys or young teenagers.

The Center opened 322 sextortion cases in July 2022, compared to 85 in July 2021 and 15 in July 2019.

According to Stéphane Villeneuve, professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal and director of the Digital Integration Program in schools, adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sextortion.

“When it affects the image, the identity of a person a lot, that we threaten to ruin his life… Young people, adolescents are in a period where they try to discover their identity, to assert themselves. There, we are destroying that all at once, in an instant, they send a photo and their entire universe is collapsing. »

— Stéphane Villeneuve, University of Quebec in Montreal

He is delighted that the Dutch accused of having harassed and extorted on the Internet the teenager Amanda Todd , who committed suicide in 2012, was found guilty by a jury on Saturday.

The number of sexual extortion cases is reaching alarming levels, experts warn.

The federal government announced in July the resumed consultations on potential digital hazard laws.

Academic experts responsible for the file have not yet reached a consensus on many issues. It's also about whether software companies should be forced to actively monitor and remove offensive content and whether private messages should be included in new legislation.

Child protection experts and activists like Monique St. Germain, a lawyer at the Canadian Center for Child Protection, decry these delays and that every day new children are being victimized.

“It is unacceptable that the burden of protecting young people online rests solely on the shoulders of parents. Until the government and tech companies make significant and immediate changes to protect children online, history will repeat itself.

— Monique St. Germain, Lawyer, Canadian Center for Child Protection

For parents like Derek Lints, who lost his 17-year-old son in February, Saturday's guilty verdict against Aydin Coban is unprecedented.

He hopes Dutch's sentencing will inspire real change and give victims the courage to speak up and see that help is possible.

Derek Lints' son, Daniel, took his own life hours after becoming the victim of sexual extortion perpetrated online through the Snapchat app.

The bereaved father said he was happy for Carol Todd, who persevered all these years and finally got a verdict in his daughter's case.

44-year-old Dutchman Aydin Coban has been convicted of five counts in connection with the cyberbullying case of Amanda Todd, a B.C. was taken in 2012.

Following the jury's decision on Saturday, Crown and defense attorneys will meet with Judge Martha Devlin on August 11 to discuss a date hearing regarding the sentencing of Dutchman Aydin Coban.

Kids Help Phone services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week , anywhere in Canada.

  • 1-800-668-6868
  • Text to 6868 68

With information from Early Edition and Timothé Matte-Bergeron

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