Thornhill man charged with murder of girlfriend now faces sex assault charges

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Raphael Banon is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Asha Morar. He is also charged with sexual assault, assault and theft.

  • Asha Morar was found dead in a Thornhill residence in May.

A Thornhill man who was charged with the second-degree murder of his girlfriend has been charged with other offences, including sexual assault, since his initial arrest.

Raphael Banon, 21, was originally charged with the murder of his girlfriend, who can now be identified as Asha Morar, 19, by York Regional Police on Oct. 13 in relation to an incident that occurred in May when Morar was found unresponsive by officers at a Thornhill home.

YRP did not release the victim’s name when they charged Banon, as per the family’s request, but her name is included in court documents from the case.

We at YorkRegion.com strongly believe it’s our duty to publicize the names of victims of intimate partner violence, in keeping with the critical public need for transparency on this major societal issue.

YorkRegion.com also plans to cover Banon’s trial, at which point Morar’s name will be widely publicized.

In an online obituary, Morar’s family paid tribute to the former Stephen Lewis Secondary School student’s very best qualities.

“Asha will be remembered not only for her timeless beauty and heart but for her resiliency, her courageous personality, and her enormous love for her brother,” it reads. “Asha had such love for her friends, for music, and for working to make her world, and the world around her a more peaceful place.”

Soon after the arrest on the murder charge, Banon was also charged with break-and-enter, mischief and theft over $5,000 in relation to the theft of catalytic convertors in Bolton.

In addition, Tomaso Montelone, 21, of Richmond Hill, was charged with theft over $5,000, mischief and failure to comply with probation.

A 17-year-old youth from Vaughan was also charged alongside Banon and Montelone with break and enter and theft.

Now, Banon has been charged with sexual assault in relation to an incident in August 2020.

He was charged alongside Benjamin Schwartzman, 20, in relation to the same incident, according to police.

Banon has also been charged with three counts of assault.

Banon is expected to next appear in a Newmarket courtroom on the murder charge via video link on Jan. 4.



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