Canada: Zambian migrant gets eights years, deportation, for HIV exposure in Winnipeg


HIV-positive immigrant gets 8 years for sexual assault - 35-year-old faces automatic deportation after jail term

August 22, 2008
Source: Winnipeg Free Press

WINNIPEG – An HIV-positive immigrant was sentenced to eight years in prison Friday for exposing two former girlfriends to the potentially deadly virus by failing to warn them about his medical condition.

The 35-year-old man – who can’t be named under a court order – is facing automatic deportation back to his native Africa.

However, he won’t be kicked out of Canada until after he finishes serving his sentence.

Queen’s Bench Justice Nathan Nurgitz gave the man double-time credit for the 34 months he has already served, leaving him with another 28 months behind bars.

The man was convicted earlier this summer of two counts of aggravated sexual assault in one of Manitoba’s first cases of its kind.

“This man is a danger to the public, and to women. He deserves condemnation from this court,” Crown attorney Melinda Murray said.

“There’s no remorse here. He doesn’t care that these women may have contracted HIV. He preyed on these women because they loved him and he took advantage of it.”

He denied any wrongdoing at trial, taking the witness stand in his own defence and claiming he warned his partners about his illness, but they still elected to have sex with him.

One of his victims was a 17-year-old girl who got pregnant – then tried to run over him with her van after learning the truth about his health.

She eventually miscarried.

The other victim also got pregnant and gave birth to the man’s child.

“I believe I literally slept with the devil,” one of the victims told court during an emotional sentencing hearing. “I’ve become numb to the fact that such a great evil and I could become so intimate. To use sex as a weapon of choice to try and kill people is so inhumane, so out of this world. There is no punishment fit for his crimes.”

The Crown said the man had been repeatedly warned by medical officials about his responsibilities to any sexual partners. He also lied when confronted by the women about his condition, court said.

In July, another immigrant, a 31-year-old Sudanese man, was also convicted of putting the lives of six young Winnipeg women at risk by hiding his HIV-positive condition and then engaging in unprotected sex. Clato Mabior was convicted on six of nine sexual-assault allegations, plus additional charges of invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference.

Mabior was arrested in early 2006 after an unprecedented public warning by police and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority that prompted several young women to come forward – many of them teenage runaways.

Editorial comment

The second African migrant to be tried in Winnipeg within days of Clato Mabior has been sentenced to eight years in prison for two counts of HIV exposure. He was given double credit for the 34 months he has already served in pre-sentence custody, reducing his remaining sentence to 28 months before being deported to his birthplace, Zambia.

There had originally been three complainants, all of whom became pregnant with the 35 year-old man’s child, although one of the women miscarried. None became HIV-positive following unprotected consensual sex.

One of the women testified she continued to have unprotected sex with him after he told her of his HIV status, and so charges pertaining to this complainant were dropped.

Of the other two, one had tried to kill the man by attempting to run him down with her car. However, rather than be arrested and tried for what appears to be a clear-cut case of attempted murder, this was seen as evidence of the ‘harm’ the man afflicted upon her.

“I believe I literally slept with the devil,” one of the victims told court during an emotional sentencing hearing. “I’ve become numb to the fact that such a great evil and I could become so intimate. To use sex as a weapon of choice to try and kill people is so inhumane, so out of this world. There is no punishment fit for his crimes.”

Isn’t this an over-reaction? How much of her anger is really at herself for falling in love with the wrong man? Where is the evidence that he used “sex as a weapon” and tried to “kill” her? I wonder if there were no HIV exposure laws in Canada whether the complainants would feel so strongly about this. Of course, the women feel betrayed, angry, whatever, about the fact that he did not disclose his HIV status to them, but where is their sense of shared responsibility for the choices they made about not using condoms (or any method of birth control!)? In the eyes of the law it might not have been an ‘informed’ choice, but in reality how specifically ‘informed’ does a person have to be to know that having sex involves risks, including the risk of contracting an STI or becoming pregnant?







Judge rejects HIV small talk, convicts man of assault

July 19, 2008
Source: Winnipeg Sun

An HIV-positive Winnipeg man has been convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault after a judge rejected his claim he informed two girlfriends of his health status before having unprotected sex with them.

The 34-year-old African immigrant — whose identity is protected by a publication ban — testified at trial he told one woman of his HIV status after she found a condom in his pocket and another during a visit to her Arlington Street home.

He said both conversations took only a matter of minutes and the topic only came up again when one woman became pregnant.

Justice Nathan Nurgitz said yesterday he found the man’s evidence “seriously lacking in credibility.”

“To have discussions of such life-threatening issues lasting only minutes is simply not believable,” Nurgitz said.

The man has remained in custody since his arrest in May 2006. He will return to court for sentencing next month.

At trial earlier this year, Nurgitz tossed out charges involving a third woman after she admitted she continued to have sex with the man after learning he might be HIV-positive.

A now 22-year-old woman testified at trial she tried mowing the man down with her car five years ago after learning he had exposed her to HIV. “I was trying to kill him,” the woman told court. “I was going to run him over, put the car into reverse and run him over again to make sure he was dead.”

The man escaped unharmed after the woman chased him onto a sidewalk and blew a tire.

The offender is the second HIV-positive man in a week to be convicted in Winnipeg of aggravated sexual assault. On Tuesday, Clato Mabior was convicted of six counts of aggravated sexual assault involving six adolescent and teenage girls.

At trial, the victims testified Mabior plied them with booze and drugs and engaged in repeated acts of unprotected sex without ever disclosing he is HIV-positive.