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Man charged in anti-Asian hate crimes finally appears before judge

Yves Castonguay initially failed to appear for court date on charges stemming from racist graffiti
Yves Castonguay has appeared before a judge on public incitement of hatred and mischief to property charges | Vancouver Police Department
A 47-year-old man charged in relation to hateful graffiti on the Chinese Cultural Centre has appeared before a judge – four months after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Yves Castonguay faces two charges – one for public incitement of hatred and one count of mischief to property, according to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) after the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside was vandalized during the afternoon of April 2, 2020.

Racist language about the Asian community was written on the centre’s windows.

Castonguay was charged March 30 but didn’t show up for his subsequent court date. B.C. Prosecution Service spokesman Dan McLaughlin said Castonguay’s case was on the Prince George court list for a video pre-trial conference. 

“The judge assigned the conference is sitting in Prince George so the hearing is notionally there but it is being held virtually by video,” McLaughlin said . “The accused is not in custody.  He has other charges pending relating to  breaches of other orders but none related to this file.”

At the time of the offence, Vancouver Police had seen a 717% increase in crimes with an element of hate, bias, and prejudice, with people of East Asian descent being the primary targets.

Police said a criminal charge for public incitement of hatred is a serious, specific charge that is rarely used.


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