Canada: Nova Scotia man found guilty of aggravated sexual assault for alleged HIV non-disclosure


Dartmouth man convicted of aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing he has HIV

December 9, 2020
Source: Cape Breton Post

A Dartmouth man who had unprotected sex with a man at a Halifax bathhouse in April 2018 without disclosing he was HIV-positive has been found guilty of aggravated sexual assault.

X, 30, stood trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax in October.

Justice Kevin Coady delivered the verdict Wednesday, saying he was satisfied that the Crown had proven all elements of the offence, including lack of consent and endangerment of the life of the complainant.

“It is well established that unsafe sexual intercourse by an HIV-infected person, absent a condom and/or a low viral load, endangers the life of their sexual partner,” Coady said.

“Mr. X was aware of the risk involved when he had unprotected sex with (the complainant). That is evident by his decision to disclose to (him) shortly after the intercourse.”

The judge noted that the victim “unequivocally stated” in his testimony that had he known of X’s HIV-positive status, he would not have participated in any sexual activity with him.

The identity of the complainant is protected by a publication ban. He is HIV-negative, the judge said.

Coady ordered a pre-sentence report at the request of the defence and scheduled a sentencing hearing for Feb. 12.

“This is a complex matter,” he said. “I’m not committing to having a decision that day, but we can have submissions.”

This is the third time in less than two years that X has had a trial in Supreme Court on charges involving men.

In December 2018, a jury found him guilty on three counts of common assault against his former domestic partner, from incidents in 2016. He received a suspended sentence with a year’s probation for those offences.

In March 2019, a different jury acquitted X of sexually assaulting a man who went to his residence in October 2016 to have sex with his partner after connecting on Grindr, a social networking app.

X is free on bail with strict conditions.