Ian Thomas Williams, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault in a Toronto courtroom yesterday. He had unprotected sex with two women without informing them that he was HIV positive.
The women, grandmothers in their 50s, have both tested negative for HIV.
The Toronto Star
reports Williams met one of the women in a bar during Toronto's Caribbean Carnival in 2011. Despite the fact she told him she was paranoid about getting AIDS, he had unprotected sex with her without telling her he was HIV positive. The woman went to police after doing a Google search and learning Williams' wife had died of AIDS and he had previously received a three year prison sentence for two counts of aggravated sexual assault committed by not disclosing his HIV status.
The second woman came forward after hearing about his arrest for engaging in unprotected sex with the first woman. Prior to having sex with Williams she suggested he get tested for HIV but he refused. Williams has known about his HIV status since 1996.
According to the prosecutor, both women have been psychologically traumatized by their relationships with Williams.
The Toronto Sun
reports Williams' stepdaughter went to police in 2005 after her mother died of AIDS. Although he was never charged in her death, two girlfriends came forward and told police they had unprotected sex with Williams. The following year, Williams was convicted of two counts of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to three years in prison.
Although Williams said he was sorry to his victims, as Michele Mandel pointed out in the Sun, he seemed to be more sorry for himself. Sobbing, he told Justice John McMahon, "I feel very sorry for them people that I put that fear in them because I'm afraid. I'm afraid to be rejected."
He also told McMahon his deportation to Trinidad will be a death sentence because he will not be able to get the medical care he needs for his condition.
Williams is the first person to be convicted for failing to disclose their HIV positive status to sexual partners after the Supreme Court of Canada clarified what circumstances constitute the offences of sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault. As Digital Journal
reported last month, a person whose viral load is low and who uses a condom does not have to inform their partners of their HIV positive status. As Williams engaged in unprotected sex, he was required to disclose he was HIV positive.
After taking pretrial custody into account, Williams must serve a sentence of four years and nine months. He will also be required to be on the sex offender registry for 20 years and is required to provide a DNA sample.