Toronto landscaper Bruce McArthur has been accused of killing at least two individuals after flower pots with human remains were discovered by police. Now, in an interview with CBC News, an acquaintance of McArthur's named Peter Sgromo has described a frightening sexual encounter with the alleged murderer.
Sgromo had known McArthur for more than a decade. In the interview, he describes a sexual situation with McArthur that devolved into sexual violence.
"We were kissing, kissing turned into some petting. Then he undid my shirt, undid his shirt,” he said. At that point McArthur grabbed Sgromo's head and pulled it towards his crotch. Sgromo resisted.
“Then he really grabbed my neck, violently twisted it, right to his crotch and his pants were undone. That’s when I really was quite disturbed.”
Sgromo later slipped away after lying about his dog's health, saying he needed to leave: “And to me, that was my escape,” he said, noting they never saw each other again.
The victims of this series of killings were members of the city's LGBTQ community, prompting many to criticize the police for their perhaps biased lack of action. Three of the victims also had Middle Eastern and South Asian backgrounds, causing some to wonder about the racial implications of the situation as well.
"We believe that the Toronto Police Service failed to provide adequate resources and effort in their investigations of the disappearances of Skanda Navaratnam (2010), Abdulbasir Faizi (2010), Majeed Kayhan (2012), and Selim Esen (2017). The disappearances of Navaratnam, Faizi, and Kayhan remain under investigation. Despite the initial public outcry, outreach and demand for an investigation in 2010 and then again in 2012 – Project Houston drew no conclusion for these victims. We hope that answers will come to light soon," writes The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention in a letter.
"It is saddening and unacceptable that it took the disappearance of Andrew Kinsman to reopen public interest in the cases of the missing South Asian and Middle Eastern men," the letter continued. "Families and friends of the respective men were not given the closure that they deserved in a timely manner. We strongly emphasize that racism and homophobia are systemic issues that affect every part of our society. A different standard of justice for racialized and LGBTQ+ people is the reality in our city and province."