A man was this week charged with raping and killing a Muslim girl. According to The Independent, Darwin Torres allegedly attacked teenager Nabra Hassanen as she was going to a Mosque with her friends. If convicted, the 22-year old man faces the death penalty. According to media reports, 17-year-old Hassanen met her death after she shared a meal with friends in Virginia, following their day's fast during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.

Abduction and rape

The assailant was charged with abduction, intent to defile, first-degree murder, and Rape of the teenager in June this year.

Speaking to reporters, the Fairfax County Attorney said that he would seek the death penalty. Raymond Morrogh, however, refused to give further details as the case is pending. According to The Independent, Torres accosted Hassanen and her friends as soon as they left a local restaurant on their way to the Mosque. He got into an argument with one of them, and when they took off, he gave chase in his car. He caught up with the victim at a car park and reportedly hit her with a baseball bat.

Torres apparently kidnapped Hassanen and took her to the next county. The man then assaulted her for the second time, killed her, and hid the body in a pond. One of the victim's friends identified him when he returned to the scene of abduction and called law enforcement authorities who arrived and apprehended the attacker.

Later in the day, Torres took the police to the pond where he had dumped the teenager's body.

Hate crime

Responding to speculation that Hassanen was kidnapped and killed due to her Muslim faith, local authorities stated that their investigations into the heinous act at the time did not indicate that the Torres targeted the girl because of her ethnicity or religion.

During last week's preliminary hearing, hundreds of people showed up wearing "Justice for Nabra" T-shirts. According to media reports, the trial was delayed for at least one hour after the victim's parents tried to rush at the accused. After the hearing resumed, Torres' case was handed to a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury slapped him with an eight-count indictment.

According to The Independent, one week before he murdered Hassanen, a woman reported him to the police, accusing him of sexually assaulting her. The woman, however, decided to drop the charges.

Meanwhile, a new proposed law in Canada's province could soon require Muslim women who wear a niqab or Burka to remove them while using public transport. The proposed legislation, dubbed Bill 62 could be tabled for a vote in the city's National Assembly as early as this week. If passed, it could prohibit public workers from covering their faces. According to The Independent, critics have condemned the law for what they see as the profiling of Muslim women. If the bill is approved, it will become the first of its kind in North America.