A dozen charges have been dropped against an Abbotsford man who was accused of having unprotected sex with multiple partners across the Lower Mainland and not disclosing his HIV-positive status.
Brian Carlisle, 48, had been facing 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault, but they were stayed April 26 in Abbotsford provincial court.
Police initially reported in August 2017 that Carlisle was facing three counts, but Mission RCMP reported the following month that nine charges had been added after several more complainants came forward.
The alleged offences occurred in Abbotsford (three counts), Surrey (three), Maple Ridge (three), Mission (one), Deroche (one), and Burnaby/Coquitlam (one).
Dan McLaughlin, spokesman with the BC Prosecution Service, said the charges were stayed because “the charge approval standard could no longer be met” and there was not a strong likelihood of conviction.
“In this case, the prosecutor concluded that the evidentiary test was no longer met and directed the stay of proceedings,” he said.
McLaughlin said the decision was also reached through consideration of a Prosecution Service policy titled “Sexual Transmission, or Realistic Possibility of Transmission, of HIV.”
“If there is no realistic possibility of transmission of HIV, failure to disclose that one has HIV will not constitute fraud vitiating consent to sexual relations,” the policy states.
It also states that a “realistic possibility” of the transmission of HIV is negated if “the accused’s viral load at the time of sexual relations was low.”
Carlisle has indicated in previous media interviews that his viral load was undetectable and he was not contagious at the time he was having unprotected sex.
“Viral load” is the term used to describe the amount of HIV in the blood.
“Studies show that people with an undetectable viral load do not pass HIV to their sexual partners,” states the CATIE (Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange) website.
Carlisle is a prominent marijuana activist and would-be politician in the Fraser Valley, including a bid for mayor of Chilliwack in 2002.
He told community news reporters as long ago as October 2002, in relation to his marijuana use, that he had seven debilitating conditions, including being HIV-positive, something that was mentioned in multiple subsequent stories.
In a March 2005 article, it was reported that Carlisle used a vaporizer to inhale marijuana to ease nausea symptoms to treat his HIV/AIDS.
– with files from Paul Henderson