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article imageCalgary police issue warning about HIV positive man

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 6, 2013 in Crime
Calgary - The warning was issued after a 41-year-old man was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault and fail to comply. He was previously on bail for other aggravated sexual assault charges and is believed to be HIV positive.
The announcement was made yesterday. John Joseph McNamara was arrested on Tuesday and charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count with failing to comply with bail conditions. McNamara was previously charged by the Airdrie RCMP with two counts of aggravated sexual assault in February. He was released from custody the following month on $5,500 bail including $500 cash. The fail to comply charge alleges the 41-year-old was not residing at the address he was required to live at.
All counts of aggravated sexual assault are allegations he had unprotected sex without disclosing his HIV positive status to his sexual partners. Acting Staff Sgt. Ryan Jepson said, "Speaking generally, if a person has HIV and does not disclose that information to his sexual partners, they could be charged with aggravated sexual assault for endangering the life of the individual."
According to police, McNamara was a frequent user of Internet dating sites such as Plenty of Fish and MeetUp. Although his previous bail conditions prohibited him from using the Internet to seek dates, it is believed he is still found on some of these sites.
In 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a person who is HIV positive and who does not disclose that fact to sexual partners, is guilty of aggravated sexual assault if there is a significant risk of transmitting the virus. As Digital Journal reported, the Supreme Court modified that decision last October. The court ruled an HIV positive person need not disclose there status if their viral load is low at the time they engage in sex and if a condom is used. The risk of transmitting the virus under those circumstances is extremely low.
AIDS activists and others are against using criminal law against those who fail to disclose their HIV status. Simonne LeBlanc, of AIDS Calgary said, "It actually discourages people from getting tested."
McNamara was remanded in custody until today when he will appear on all counts of aggravated sexual assault as well as the fail to comply charge. Aggravated sexual assault carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Calgary police would like anyone who had sex with McNamara to contact them.
More about john joseph mcnamara, HIVpositive, Aggravated sexual assault, internet dating sites
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