USA

Toronto "incel" found guilty of murderous rampage

Toronto, Canada - A Canadian court has found the man responsible for a 2018 van attack in Toronto that killed 10 people and injured scores of others guilty of all charges, dismissing his laywers' argument that his autism spectrum disorder made him not criminally responsible for his actions.

Survivors along with family and friends of survivors and victims share a moment outside the courthouse after the verdict.
Survivors along with family and friends of survivors and victims share a moment outside the courthouse after the verdict.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Press

Alek Minassian (28) was found guilty on Wednesday of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder in connection with the April 23, 2018, attack.

In a decision broadcast on YouTube, Justice Anne Molloy said Minassian's rampage was "the act of a reasoning mind," adding that the 28-year-old "freely chose the option that was morally wrong, knowing what the consequences would be for himself, and for everybody else."

The man was apprehended shortly after he plowed a rental van through a crowd of pedestrians on a busy north Toronto street, killing eight women and two men ranging in age from 22 to 94.

Minassian told police that he belonged to an online group of "incels" (involuntary celibates) and had grown increasingly frustrated with his inability to form relationships with women.

In remarks that had caused a backlash from autism support and advocacy groups, Minassian's lawyers had argued that the 28-year-old's autism disorder left him without the ability to develop empathy and feel remorse for his actions.

"Lack of empathy for the suffering of victims, even an incapacity to empathize for whatever reason, does not constitute a defense," Molloy said.

A first-degree murder conviction in Canada carries an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.

Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Press

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