A Canadian man who pleaded guilty to the murder of a Toronto massage parlor employee received a life prison sentence Tuesday for what a judge described as an act of terrorism related to an internet subculture that fuels sexual loneliness into rage and misogyny.
The man, who cannot be named because he was 17 years old at the time of the February 2020 stabbing that killed 24-year-old Ashley Noelle Arzaga and seriously wounded another woman identified only by the initials J.C., also was sentenced to three years for attempted murder, to be served concurrently.
He pleaded guilty last year to both first-degree murder and attempted murder charges. The judge said the life sentence included no chance of parole for 10 years.
In June, Justice Sukhail Akhtar ruled that the massage parlor attack amounted to an act of terrorism due to its links to so-called “incel″ ideology, which stands for “involuntary celibate.″ It is promoted through a fringe online subculture dominated by men who blame women for a lack of active sex lives they argue they are entitled to have.
The ruling was believed to be the first time a Canadian court declared terrorist activity as incel-motivated.
The court considered evidence that included the defendant’s plans to seek out women to violently attack with a 17-inch sword after he was radicalized by misogynistic views online.
The incel movement also was linked to a 2018 rampage in Toronto in which a man used a van to kill 10 people, as well as to attacks in California and Florida.
Prosecutors wanted the man in Tuesday’s case sentenced as an adult, noting he was six months shy of turning 18 at the time and meticulously researched, planned and made choices surrounding the attack that reflected adult thoughts and actions. They also argued he has shown no remorse.
Adults found guilty of first-degree murder face an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years. The defense had sought to have the parole ineligibility limited to 10 years because of his age at the time of the murder.