Court Sentences Young Person as and Adult in Murder / Terrorism Case

Toronto – November 28, 2023 – Today, the Ontario Superior Court, sitting as a youth justice court, imposed an adult sentence on a young person. The young person, Oguzhan Sert, was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole eligibility for 10 years for the first-degree murder of Ashley Arzaga, and the attempted murder of a second woman. The young person in this case was just five months shy of his 18th birthday when he committed these offences. The sentence is the maximum allowable under the Criminal Code for a young person sentenced as an adult.

For the court to impose an adult sentence on a young person, certain criteria must be met, including factors relevant to the young person, and those relevant to the offence, particularly whether a youth sentence would not be of sufficient length to hold the young person accountable for their conduct.

The court found that in this case, the criteria was met and imposed the sentence that counsel for the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario submitted on behalf of the Crown.

“Mr. Sert committed murder and attempted murder motivated by his belief in the ‘incel’ (involuntary celibate) ideology with a hatred and contempt for women. These were not the acts of an immature young man.” said George Dolhai, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions. “He set out to send a message of intimidation to all women and inspiration to men through these vicious attacks. The sentence today tells women and men that violence based upon misogynistic beliefs will be called out for the terrorism it is and punished accordingly.”

On September 14, 2022, Mr. Sert pleaded guilty to first degree murder under ss. 235(1) and 231(2) and attempted murder under s. 239(1)(b) of the Criminal Code. In June of 2023, the Ontario Superior Court ruled that in the circumstances of this case, the offences fell within the definition of terrorist activity.

This is the first terrorism prosecution in Canada involving the incel ideology, which has been linked to numerous violent acts in Canada and internationally.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) is a national organization responsible for prosecuting offences under federal jurisdiction in a manner that is free of any improper influence and that respects the public interest. The PPSC is also responsible for providing prosecution-related advice to law enforcement agencies across Canada.

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INFORMATION:

Media Relations
613-954-7803
media@ppsc-sppc.gc.ca
www.ppsc-sppc.gc.ca

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