British Columbia

Sex charges stayed against HIV-positive B.C. man

Charges have been stayed against Brian Carlisle who was accused of not informing sexual partners that he was HIV-positive because medical experts say his viral load isn't high, but women will still need to get tested for two years.

Brian Carlisle faced 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault for not informing partners

At the time he was charged, RCMP said Brian Carlisle could have had unprotected sex while failing to disclose his HIV-positive status to multiple partners. (Handout/RCMP)

Charges have been stayed against a B.C. man who faced 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault for not informing his sexual partners that he was HIV-positive. 

Crown counsel Jeremy Crowhurst told CBC that the charges against Brian Carlisle, 48, were dropped Thursday because Carlisle's own doctor and HIV expert Dr. Brian Conway, who was consulted by Crown, agreed that Carlisle's viral load was "undetectable" and he could not transmit the virus through sexual contact.

However, the women involved will still need to undergo annual tests to  make sure they have not been infected. They cannot be identified, 

One woman who spoke to the CBC on condition of anonymity said she has to be tested every three months, and that will continue despite the news Carlisle viral load is very low. 

"I still have to wait one more year to know if I have HIV or not," she said. 

 "If I want to engage with anybody in a relationship I have to advise them that I have been exposed to HIV. It's pretty difficult. I'm still not able to have any contact or relationship with anybody else."

Aggravated sexual assault charges have been dropped against Brian Carlisle because doctors say he cannot pass on HIV through sexual contact because his viral load is 'undetectable.' (Brian Carlisle Facebook)

The women were informed that charges might be stayed two weeks ago.

The woman who spoke to CBC news said the message was left on her voicemail.

She says she has paid a high personal price and is "devastated" that the case has officially been dropped. 

"It's very bad. After July, I developed PTSD, depression and anxiety. I had to stop working, I lost my job, I lost everything that I worked for. Money, recently going into bankruptcy. It's pretty bad," she said.

Carlisle of Abbotsford, was originally charged with three counts in August 2017 and then nine more were added in September after several new alleged victims came forward during an extensive investigation by Mission RCMP. 

At the time police said they decided to disclose his medical condition because it was in the public interest. 

Crowhurst told CBC there is still compelling public interest in the case, but the evidence no longer supports the charges so a conviction is unlikely.

The alleged offences occurred in Mission, Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Burnaby and investigators believe that Carlisle may have previously lived in Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Vermont. 

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story provided incorrect information about why the Crown will not pursue charges against Carlisle.
    Apr 28, 2018 1:29 PM PT

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