Edmonton

Edmonton Police criticized in case of HIV-positive teen

An advocacy group is criticizing an unusual decision by Edmonton Police to release the name and photograph of a teenager accused of having unprotected sex without disclosing that she is HIV-positive.

An advocacy group is criticizing an unusual decision by Edmonton police to release the name and photograph of a teenager accused of having unprotected sex without disclosing that she is HIV-positive.

"It makes you really sick to your stomach because you know that this is going to be following this young woman for the rest of her life," said Shelley Williams, the interim executive director of HIV Edmonton.

The 17-year-old girl was arrested in Edson, Alta. after police went public with her identity. She now faces two counts of aggravated sexual assault and can no longer be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Police obtained a court order allowing them to release the girl's identity for the purpose of finding her.

"This is the first time we've ever done anything like this before but we definitely have quite a concern for the community," said Det. Barb Clover.

HIV Edmonton advocates that people disclose their status to their sexual partners. But Williams worries the action by police will make it harder for people to speak up.

"There's lots of discrimination, still, when people disclose," Williams said.

Police said the teen is homeless and known to them. She will make her first appearance in court Tuesday.

The teen faces charges in relation to two complainants. A third complainant came forward after girl's name and photograph went public.

now