British Columbia

HIV-positive man sues RCMP for negligence, defamation after sex charges stayed

Brian Carlisle alleges the RCMP and attorney general caused him pain and suffering after he was accused of failing to disclose his status to his sexual partners. Charges against him were stayed when doctors found he could not transmit the virus through sexual contact.

Brian Carlisle was accused of failing to disclose his status to his sexual partners

Brian Carlisle is suing the B.C. government and RCMP after 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault against him were stayed because doctors determined he could not pass HIV to his sexual partners. (Handout/RCMP)

An HIV-positive man from Abbotsford, B.C., is suing the RCMP for negligence and defamation after a dozen sex charges against him were stayed last year.

Brian Carlisle filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court in July against those who handled his case, including police and the attorney general. 

Carlisle was accused of having unprotected sex without telling his partners that he was HIV positive. He was charged with 12 counts of aggravated assault.

Those charges were stayed in April 2018 after Carlisle's doctor and an HIV expert agreed that his viral load was undetectable and he couldn't transmit the virus through sexual contact.

A notice of civil claim alleges the RCMP defamed Carlisle and accuses the prosecution of being malicious.

The lawsuit claims that the media attention to his case led to difficulties finding work and a place to live because of a Mission RCMP news release that contained his photo, HIV status, and his presence on social media and dating sites.

"The media statement released by the Mission RCMP constituted defamation," reads the court document. "The statement lowered his reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person."

Pain and suffering

Carlisle, who claims to be an expert in medical marijuana production, said in the lawsuit that he has been turned down for jobs and would be able to earn up to $140,000 annually based on his experience.

The lawsuit says he currently works for a human resources company that does not use his name when dealing with clients.

The document also says he has considered changing his name and rarely speaks with his daughter anymore, who has had to change her job twice due to his ordeal.

Carlisle is suing for loss of income, and pain and suffering.

None of the claims have been proven in court.

With files from Meera Bains