THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — A Dutch appeals court on Friday upheld a prison sentence of nearly 11 years for a man convicted of cyberbullying dozens of young women and gay men around the world.
Amsterdam Appeals Court confirmed the maximum 10 years and eight months sentence imposed in March last year on the man identified by Dutch authorities as Aydin C., who was convicted of fraud and blackmail for the online abuse.
The predator’s victims, some of them as young as nine years old when he began grooming them, came from the Netherlands, Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway, the court said.
The court said the man “ruthlessly” pressured girls into performing sexual acts in front of webcams. He pretended to be a boy or girl and persuaded his victims to perform the acts, then posted the images online or blackmailed them by threatening to do so.
“The girls suffered seriously because of the suspect’s actions and many still endure serious psychological consequences,” the court said.
When one man refused to pay up, the man posted video of him online, causing the victim to lose his job.
In Canada, C., who always insisted he was innocent, faces a separate trial in the cyberbullying of Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old girl whose suicide in 2012 drew global attention to online abuse.
The Dutch Supreme Court last year approved his extradition to Canada to stand trial there, but it is not clear when he will be handed over to Canadian authorities.