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Accused in HIV case transferred to Kitchener to face more charges

Ottawa man hires second lawyer for seperate trial

A 29-year-old poz Ottawa man accused of not disclosing his health status has been transferred to Kitchener, where he faces more charges.

The accused made his third Kitchener court appearance in person on Aug 27. There, he is facing three counts of aggravated sexual assault related to two complainants. He is also facing two charges of breaching probation. All the alleged incidents pre-date his arrest in May.

The accused was transferred Aug 26 from Ottawa to Milton’s Maplehurst Correctional Complex. He will remain there until his Sept 10 in-person appearance. His next Ottawa appearance is Sept 8 and it will be by video.

In a phone interview with Xtra, Scott Reid, his lawyer in Kitchener, says he cannot comment on why there are two complainants but three aggravated sexual assault charges.

A 24-year-old poz Kitchener man is co-accused; he faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault. The co-accused has been on house arrest since May this year.

A publication ban protects the identities of the accusers; Xtra has so far declined to publish the names of the accused.

“Hypothetically, if he had a foursome with two men and had two sexual encounters with one person, that may be why he is being charged with two separate acts. That might be how the police make the charges,” says Reid.

When the accused man was arrested in May, it was on nine charges of aggravated sexual assault and breach of probation charges. While the charges mounted and five more complainants came forward, the aggravated sexual assault charges were amalgamated — he is charged per complainant, not per act.

In Ottawa, he faces 26 charges: four counts of aggravated sexual assault, four counts attempt murder, five counts of sexual assault, eight counts of breaching probation and one count of child pornography possession.

A Toronto-based lawyer, Reid says he became the accused’s lawyer in early July after his Ottawa lawyer, Delinda Hayton, made inquiries about how he could be represented in Kitchener.

“I’ve been practising law for seven years, and I’ve had problems with how police statements have been taken from my clients. I see problems with police statements and interrogations in my practice all the time,” says Reid.

While the accused is on legal aid, Reid says he took the Ottawa man’s case because it impressed him. He felt it was an interesting case because there are more and more criminal cases of people not disclosing their HIV status to their sexual partners while having unprotected sex.

“To my dismay, we seem to be seeing more and more criminalization of this type of conduct. Also, it’s a trial where there are going to be interesting issues arising with respect to procedural and legal issues. At the end of the day, I’m interested in doing trial work. This is going to trial. And I’m always interested in going to Superior Court,” says Reid. 

Reid says he has only had a few quick phone conversations with his client and had a brief meeting with him on Friday.

“He seems to be holding up quite well. He doesn’t seem beaten down. He seems to be keeping his spirits up well enough. But that’s just based on a very short observation. I don’t do in-depth interviewing in cells with clients where people are around,” says Reid.

Reid says he cannot predict how long his client’s case is going to take to go to trial, but he says it will likely take close to a year.

The accused is scheduled to appear in person at Kitchener court on Sept 10. He is also scheduled to be in Ottawa court on Sept 9, likely via video link from Maplehurst. Either way, by the time he goes to court next, he will have spent more than four months behind bars.

Ottawa police set off nationwide debate after his photo was attached to an email sent out by the Police Liaison Committee with the phrase “sexual predator” attached to it.