Canadian authorities confirmed Thursday that they arrested a suspect in connection with Amanda Todd’s suicide. The authorities arrested a man they believe was responsible for cyber-bullying 15-year-old Amanda Todd and charged him with extortion, luring and criminal harassment and possession of child pornography for the purpose of distribution. According to ABC, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Insp. Paulette Freill stated that the suspect they arrested is allegedly the same man who blackmailed the Canadian teenager into exposing herself in front of a webcam. 15-year-old Amanda documented the harassment that followed her involvement with the Dutch man in a YouTube video that quickly went viral.
A year after the initial contact with the man he contacted her again on Facebook and threatened to expose her if she didn’t “put on a show.” Amanda refused and the man made good on his threat. The picture ended up on a Facebook page made by the suspect and her friends were all able to see. Amanda ended up changing schools to avoid the bullying that resulted from the stranger’s blackmail, but the bullying persisted. Just weeks after she posted the video, Amanda Todd committed suicide.
Todd explained in detail how the stranger convinced her to expose her breasts on a webcam in a heart-wrenching video that was viewed by millions:
ABC reported that Amanda’s mother, Carol Todd, thanked the police when she learned of the arrest and said, “This is truly a day we have been waiting for.” The defense lawyer confirmed to The Associated Press that one of the charges against his client involved a 15-year-old girl from British Columbia. The man, it’s reported, has been held since January when he was arrested at a vacation home in Oisterwijk, but prosecutors only publicized the arrest after his preliminary hearing yesterday. According to the Vancouver Sun, to avoid compromising their investigation, Canadian authorities had to wait until Thursday to tell Amanda Todd’s parents that the man they arrested in January is suspected to be the man that blackmailed their daughter.
The authorities reported that the suspect in the arrest is also believed to have blackmailed adult men by convincing them he was an under-aged boy. He would convince the men to perform sex acts via webcam and then threaten them with turning the images in. The defense attorney doesn’t think prosecutors have a good case, but the prosecutors in the Netherlands are working with authorities in other countries, including U.S. and Norwegian authorities, to compile more evidence in the arrest made in connection with Amanda Todd’s suicide.