Ryan Handy, the man convicted of aggravated sexual assault for failing to disclose his HIV-positive status before having unprotected sex with a man who picked him up online, was sentenced on Mar 27 to serve eight months in jail.
“I feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer walking towards some sort of apocalypse,” Handy wrote in a Mar 26 email to Xtra. “I hope the judge is merciful tomorrow. I hope for house arrest. I was found to be guilty but also suffering from a major mental illness and that has to mean something.”
“You selfishly and recklessly had unprotected sex with [the man] and exposed him to a deadly virus,” said Justice William Jenkins according to a report in the London Free Press.
Crown prosecutors had asked Jenkins to jail Handy for three years, but Jenkins called that sentence “crushing.”
In addition to eight months in jail, Jenkins sentenced Handy to two years probation on the conditions that Handy continue to see his psychiatrist, that he not take recreational drugs, that he disclose his HIV-positive status to all of his sex partners and that he not have unprotected sex.
Jenkins also ordered Handy to surrender a DNA sample and prohibited him from having weapons for 10 years. Handy’s name will be permanently added to the Ontario Sex Offender Registry.
The report in the Mar 28 issue of the London Free Press bore the headline, “HIV positive man spread virus, jailed 8 months,” even though Handy’s so-called victim did not become HIV positive from having sex with Handy. There is no evidence to suggest that Handy passed HIV to anyone.
The identity of Handy’s so-called victim remains protected by a court-imposed publication ban and the man has refused to speak to Xtra on the record.