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Two new complainants come forward in Ottawa HIV case

Man accused of not telling partners his HIV status faces 26 charges

Two new complainants have come forward in the case of a 29-year-old poz Ottawa man accused of not disclosing his serostatus, according to documents obtained by Xtra.

The accused made a brief Ottawa court appearance today via video link from Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton, Ontario. Assistant Crown attorney Megan Cunningham said there are currently a total of eight complainants to come forward in this case. That means there are two more complainants since this summer.

Ottawa Police Inspector John McGetrick says there are no new charges; however, other sources say the investigation should end shortly. The Crown has yet to decide whether or not to use medical evidence in the trial, like comparing the accused’s HIV strain to the strains of any complainants who recently became HIV-positive.

Since his May 6 arrest, the accused now has long hair. He was polite and bright-eyed as the judge remanded his next court appearance to Oct 14. The judge also said a judicial pretrial date will be set, but a date has yet to be finalized.

In Ottawa, the accused 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. In Kitchener, he faces three counts of aggravated sexual assault related to two complainants and two charges of breaching probation.

The accused was transferred from Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre to Milton last month to be in protective custody. In a previous interview with Xtra, he said he preferred being detained at Maplehurst because of longer, more frequent outdoor time and increased contact with other inmates. He also said he feels safer because he is not recognized from the media coverage in Ottawa earlier this year.

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

A 24-year-old poz man is co-accused in the Kitchener case; he faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault for allegedly not disclosing his serostatus before having unprotected sex. The co-accused has been under house arrest since May. His next Kitchener court appearance is Sept 28.

The accused is scheduled to appear in Kitchener court again on Oct 7 by video link from Maplehurst. By the next time he goes to Ottawa court, he will have spent more than six 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.