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Ontario appeal court hearing case of man with HIV convicted of sex assault

Last Updated Feb 12, 2020 at 9:27 am PDT

Summary

The man, identified by the initials N.G., is requesting the Court of Appeal for Ontario overturn his conviction

This is based on new evidence that proper condom use is enough to prevent transmission of the virus

TORONTO — A man convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault because he didn’t disclose his HIV-positive status before sex is taking his case to Ontario’s top court today.

The man, identified by the initials N.G., is requesting the Court of Appeal for Ontario overturn his convictions based on new evidence that proper condom use is enough to prevent transmission of the virus.

In the trial, which ended in November 2017, court heard that N.G. correctly used condoms in sexual encounters with three women who consented without knowing his HIV status.

As it stands, common law says that a person with a low viral load who uses a condom does not need to inform sexual partners of their status.

The trial judge found that the condoms weren’t enough in N.G.’s case because he did not have a low viral load, raising potential doubt about the possibility of transmission despite wearing a condom.

Defence lawyer Wayne Cunningham is arguing that condoms are enough to prevent transmission and the common law should reflect that.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2020.

The Canadian Press