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HIV accused to remain in custody over holidays

After scheduled bail review, man back in Ottawa

An unsuccessful bail review will keep a 29-year-old Ottawa man accused of failing to disclose his HIV status to sexual partners behind bars for Christmas.

Ian Carter, the accused’s new lawyer, declined an interview with Xtra.

“It is my practice not to discuss a case with the media while it is still before the courts, so unfortunately, I will not be able to answer your questions. All I can say at this stage is that the bail review did not go ahead as scheduled,” writes Carter via email.

The accused had a detention review in Superior Court on Nov 29 and Dec 9 but remains in custody.

In July he was granted $5,000 bail. It came with strict release conditions, including provisos that he not use a computer, the internet or a cellphone. He was also ordered to live with his mother, an hour outside of Ottawa.

That decision was overturned before the accused was released. Around the same time, he was transported to a Milton jail to face a Waterloo arrest warrant for similar charges.

In both Ottawa and Kitchener the accused faces charges for similar offences, and both cases are proceeding concurrently. 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 possession of child pornography.

According to documents obtained by Xtra in October, eight complainants were involved in the case at the time. In Kitchener, he faces three counts of aggravated sexual assault related to two complainants and two charges of breaching probation.

A 24-year-old poz Kitchener man is co-accused in the Kitchener case, allegedly following a foursome with the Ottawa defendant. He faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault for allegedly not disclosing his serostatus before having unprotected sex. He has been under house arrest since May.

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

The Ottawa man was recently transferred from Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ontario, to the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, closer to his family.

In both institutions, he is in protective custody. The last time Xtra interviewed him was Aug 20; at the time, he said he preferred Maplehurst because of longer, more frequent outdoor time and increased contact with other inmates. He said he felt safer in Milton: no one recognizes him from the viral media coverage in May, where Ottawa police set off an intense debate after his photo was attached to an email sent out by the Police Liaison Committee with the phrase “sexual predator” attached to it.

According to Kitchener court dockets, both the accused man from Ottawa and the co-accused from Kitchener will be present in the same Kitchener courtroom on Jan 7, 2011. Ottawa court dockets say the Ottawa man’s next court appearance will be June 6, 2011.

While Carter declined to comment about his background or interest in the case, his website bio says he is a former television reporter and has experience representing clients charged with sexual offences.

According to his website bio, the Ottawa man’s lawyer for the Kitchener charges, Scott Reid, has expertise in breaches of police procedures, including the right to silence following an arrest.

In addition to Reid and Carter, Jason Gratl — a Vancouver criminal lawyer who has experience working in HIV-nondisclosure cases in which low viral load was used in the defence — is also interested in the case, according to the accused.

Gratl declined to confirm or deny his involvement in the case.