Alek Minassian found guilty of all charges in 2018 Toronto van attack

Alek Minassian found guilty of all charges in 2018 Toronto van attack

A judge has ruled that Alek Minassian is criminally responsible for the 2018 Toronto van attack, finding him guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 counts of attempted murder. Eight women and two men ranging in age from 22 to 94 died.

The Ontario Autism Coalition is "relieved" van murderer Alek Minassian wasn't able to use his autism as a defence and has been found guilty of his crimes. Defense attorney Boris Bytensky argued his client's autism disorder rendered him incapable of developing empathy and therefore unaware of the consequences of his actions, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation reported.

Riddell said while she has no memory of what happened to her on that day, she found the details of the attack quite traumatizing to hear during the trial.

Justice Anne Molloy said there was no doubt his actions were planned and deliberate and that he was fully aware of what he was doing.

"It does not matter that he does not have remorse, nor empathise with the victims". Lack of empathy for the suffering of victims, even an incapacity to empathize for whatever reason, does not constitute a defence under s. 16 of the Criminal Code.

Roxanne Mykitiuk, a professor of disability law at Osgoode Hall Law School, said she worries about the implications of Molloy's decision.

The verdict was livestreamed on YouTube because of the pandemic. Sentencing will be at a later date. "Rob Thomas at 32 Division. he made extensive inculpatory statements including that he had set out to kill people that day and that he had rented the van nearly three weeks in advance, deliberately choosing one that would be small enough to manoeuvre on the sidewalk but large enough to inflict maximum damage", reads a portion of the ruling.

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Minassian told a detective hours after the attack that he sought retribution against society because he was a lonely virgin who believed women wouldn't have sex with him. After his arrest, in his conversations with Detective Rob Thomas, Minassian said he belonged to an online subculture of sexually frustrated men who identified as "involuntary celibates" or "incels".

Minassian claimed to police he was in contact with Elliot Rodger, a community college student who killed six people and wounded 13 in shooting and stabbing attacks in 2014 near the University of California, Santa Barbara, before apparently shooting himself to death.

Autism Canada denounced what it called "egregious claims" by Minassian's lawyer that the man didn't know what he was doing was wrong because he has autism spectrum disorder.

Numerous 16 others who were wounded but survived the attack sustained traumatic injuries, including severe head injuries.

Minassian's lawyer Boris Bytensky previously told the court that his client's ASD manifested itself in a way that created "a flawless storm" to "severely" distort Minassian's way of thinking. Stigmatizing autism If successful, say several legal experts cited by local media, it would mark the first time in Canada that autism was used to dismiss criminal culpability - which advocacy groups have condemned over concerns it would further stigmatize those with the disorder.

The trial took place on Zoom past year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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