Hallucinogenics used during ritual ceremony
Investigators from the Peel Regional Police Special Victims Unit have arrested 54-year-old Mario Restrepo, of Fonthill, in relation to a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in Mississauga in December of 2020.
The alleged victim was a 26-year-old Brampton woman who was taking part in a Ayahuasca ceremony, held at a residence in the area of Hurontario Street and Lakeshore Road. The victim was allegedly sexually assaulted while at the ceremony.
Ayahuasca is a South American psychoactive brew used both socially and as ceremonial spiritual medicine among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin, which can cause hallucinations and out-of-body experiences. The drug is illegal throughout Canada, with the exception of the Santo Daime Church Céu do Montréal, which has received a religious exemption to use Ayahuasca as a sacrament in their rituals.
Restrepo is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton in November. According to a police statement, the accused is known to conduct these ceremonies at various locations throughout Ontario, and investigators believe there may be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Peel Police Special Victims Unit at 905-453–2121, extension 3460. Anonymous information can be submitted by calling Peel Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by visiting PeelCrimeStoppers.ca.