N.S. court overturns sexual-assault convictions of HIV-positive man who didn’t disclose condition

Published 21, Feb, 2018
Author // Guest Authors - Revolving Door

"The sole issue in this case is whether psychological harm said to have been caused by non-disclosure of HIV status vitiates consent to sexual activity. The short answer is no, it does not." The Globe and Mail reports.

N.S. court overturns sexual-assault convictions of HIV-positive man who didn’t disclose condition

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To read the complete article, visit the Globe and Mail, here.

HALIFAX (CP)  -- Nova Scotia's highest court has overturned the sexual-assault convictions of an HIV-positive former boxer who slept with two women, saying their consent wasn't diminished by the man not disclosing his condition.

Claude Thompson was found guilty of sexual-assault causing bodily harm of two women in Antigonish, N.S., and sentenced to 30 months in jail. In a written ruling released Thursday, the Appeal Court of Nova Scotia acquitted him.

"The sole issue in this case is whether psychological harm said to have been caused by non-disclosure of HIV status vitiates consent to sexual activity. The short answer is no, it does not," Justice Duncan Beveridge wrote for the three-judge panel.

The appeal court quoted one expert who said HIV is no longer lethal, and another who said it's now much easier to manage than diabetes.

"Failure by a sexual partner to disclose that he or she has a sexually transmitted disease is morally reprehensible, but it is not usually a crime. Most STDs can be cured with appropriate treatment or do not constitute a serious health threat," wrote Beveridge.

The appeal attracted national interest: HIV/AIDS groups from Ontario and Quebec, as well as the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, had intervener status. The appeal court said the groups backed Thompson's claim of legal error, "and fear the potential implications of the trial judge's ruling on people living with HIV."

To read the complete article, visit the Globe and Mail, here.

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Guest Authors - Revolving Door

Guest Authors - Revolving Door

The Revolving Door is the place where we publish occasional articles by guest writers. If you would like to submit an article for publication, please contact editor Bob Leahy at editor@positivelite.com