May 13, 2021

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Toronto van attacker guilty of all charges, judge says | Courts news

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A man who drove a van on a busy Toronto sidewalk in 2018 was found guilty of 10 counts of murder, 16 counts of attempted murder.

The man who drove a van on a busy sidewalk in Canada’s largest city in 2018, killing 10 people and injuring 16 others, has been found guilty of all criminal charges.

In a decision released Tuesday morning, Ontario Superior Court judge Anne Molloy ruled that Alex Minassian was guilty of 10 chefs of first degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in connection with the April 2018 attack in Toronto.

Minassian had pleaded not guilty and his defense attorney argued during the trial that he was not criminally responsible because he suffered from an autism spectrum disorder that distorted his thinking, media reported. local.

The judge, who called Minassian in his ruling “John Doe” because she said she didn’t want to give him the fame he seeks, dismissed that defense.

“Mr. Doe thought about committing these crimes for a considerable period of time and made the considered decision to proceed. His attack on those 26 victims that day was an act of reasoned mind, despite its gruesome nature, and well that he has no remorse and no empathy for his victims, ”she wrote.

“I find John Doe guilty on all counts.”

Minassian drives a white rental van at high speed on a sidewalk on Yonge Street in Toronto’s North York neighborhood on April 23, 2018, colliding with several pedestrians.

He was arrested that day after unsuccessfully trying to get the police to kill him.

In a Facebook post shortly before he carried out the attack, the 25-year-old mentioned “incels,” or involuntary celibacy, a term used to describe men who espouse a deep hatred of women, whom they say. think they have unfairly rejected. their.

The attack and its incel connection prompted a discussion in Canadian media and on social media about the connection between misogyny and acts of violence – and how ignoring the former can have deadly consequences.

In one declaration Toronto Mayor John Tory on Tuesday said the attack was “fueled by misogyny and hatred of women.”

“While there will never be a complete shutdown for the families of those who have died, for those who have been injured, or for the city itself, concluding these procedures will help,” said Tory, who added that he remained focused on the victims of the attack. , their families and first responders.

Families of victims of deadly 2018 van attack respond to verdict [Chris Helgren/Reuters]

“Almost three years ago our entire city was rocked by this heinous act of violence … I want those who continue to be affected by this tragedy to know that Toronto is with you and that we will all continue to be with you. support, ”he said.

The Ontario Autism Coalition also praised the court ruling, saying it hoped it “can now lift the dark cloud that hung over this trial, strongly rejecting the use of autism as a defense. “.

“Violent traits have nothing to do with autism,” the group said in a statement shared on Twitter.

“The court ruling makes it clear that this was never a case of autism causing mass murder, but rather a case where someone who committed mass murder had autism.” . “





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