A 35-year-old Dutch man has been charged with offences linked to the case of 15-year-old schoolgirl Amanda Todd, from British Columbia, Canada, who committed suicide after being blackmailed into exposing herself via webcam by someone who then posted the video on her Facebook page.
Canadian police confirmed the man is charged with distributing child pornography, extortion, internet luring and criminal harassment. The man's lawyer, Christian van Dijk, said one charge relates to a 15-year-old from British Columbia - believed to be Ms Todd.
Amanda became internationally-known when she uploaded a video to YouTube in which she used hand-written cards to describe how she had been tricked into exposing her breasts by a stranger. The girl had also been bullied despite changing schools and had battled with depression, anxiety, alcohol and drugs. The final card read:
"I have nobody. I need someone. My name is Amanda Todd."
Five weeks later, on Oct. 10, 2012, Amanda was found dead at her home in Port Coquitlam, B.C. Her video has been viewed at least 17 million times and since her death a foundation has launched in her name to try and protect other young people from being blackmailed and bullied online.
The arrested man, from Oisterwijk near Tilburg, has been in prison since January, when he was arrested at a trailer park. It is believed his victims include boys as well as girls and hail from the UK and US as well as Canada and the Netherlands. It is thought the man tricked at least 40 children and young people into exposing themselves then threatened to publish their videos and photos unless they sent him money.
Internet abuse is increasingly being seen as one of the most worrying developments of the internet. Last year IBTimes reported how Daniel Perry, a 17-year-old from Dmfermline, Fife, jumped off the Forth Road Bridge after being bullied and blackmailed on Skype.