Toronto Massage Parlor Murder: Young Accused Pleads Guilty
The Crown, which will seek an adult sentence, maintains that he belongs to the Incels terrorist group.
The exterior of the crime scene at the Crown Spa massage parlor on February 24, 2020 in North Toronto.
In Toronto, an individual who cannot be identified under the Young Offenders Act pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of premeditated murder and attempted murder. The young man, who was 17 at the time of the charges, was arrested in 2020 after an attack in a massage parlor in the north of the metropolis.
Standing in the dock, the offender repeated that he was pleading guilty to the two charges just cited by the Registrar in Ontario Superior Court.
Defense attorney Monte MacGregor addresses the judge in front of his unidentified client. The four Crown attorneys (two provincial and two federal) are seated on the right.
On February 24, 2020, Toronto police responded to a 911 call regarding an attack at the knife at Spa Crown massage salon.
Upon arriving at the scene, she found the 24-year-old victim. Ashley Noell Arzaga was dead at the scene. Two other people in the living room, a man and a woman, had survived the attack. One of them had been injured.
In its closing argument, the Crown read the statement of facts that both parties agree to on the charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder.
The Young Offenders Act prevents us from revealing the identity of the defendant who was 17 years old at the time of the charges.
Dressed in his burgundy-colored prison uniform, short hair and a shaggy beard on his chin, the individual remained impassive behind his two lawyers. He is now of age, but the Crown has already announced that it will require an adult sentence.
The Crown further alleges that the individual is a member of the Incels (involuntary celibates), that group of unwillingly abstinent men who prey on women because of their sexual frustrations.
At the time, police described the attack at the massage parlor as an ideologically motivated violent extremist movement.
The man does not face any terrorism-related charges. In contrast, prosecutors argue that terrorism is the mode by which he perpetrated his crime.
The individual's trial was scheduled to begin Monday, September 12, but his decision to plead guilty forced the adjournment of the hearings until Wednesday.
This argument will be presented as an aggravating factor during the sentencing hearings at an indefinite date in 2023 .
A terrorism expert is expected to testify on this in subsequent proceedings.
Another member Incels alleged Alek Minassian was sentenced in June to life in prison without the right to parole for 25 years in connection with the April 23, 2018 ramming truck attack in North York.
Judge Ann Molloy at her trial did not believe in his ideological affiliation with the misogynistic terrorist group as claimed by the Crown.
Who is Alek Minassian?
< p class="e-p">In this case, Judge Suhail Akhtar ordered two reports, a psychiatric and a pre-sentence, about the young offender before the next hearings are held.
The young man will have to undergo psychiatric examinations at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in the coming months. He remains incarcerated at the Roy McMurtry Juvenile Detention Center in Mississauga.
If convicted as an adult, he faces a life sentence without right. parole before 25 years. If the judge instead imposes a young offender sentence, the individual faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
More details to come.