Canada
HIV-positive Ontario man who infected two women guilty of sex assault

A view of Joyceville Institution

Credits: IAN MCALPINE/QMI AGENCY

JANE SIMS | QMI AGENCY

When Daniel Gracie, 36, was a prison inmate a decade ago he knew had HIV, but didn't seem to care, court heard.

After the doctor delivered the bad news at the Joyceville Penitentiary in 2002, he wrote a report that noted Gracie's "lack of concern."

"That makes me wonder whether, in fact, he knew all along he was HIV positive so that it hasn't come as a tremendous surprise," the doctor wrote.

Gracie remained so nonchalant that he never bothered to tell at least two London women he had the virus, court heard.

The Crown is seeking to have Gracie be designated a dangerous offender and serve an indeterminate sentence.

One of his victims found out she had HIV when she became pregnant with another man's baby. The other was tested after London police made a public plea for any other potential victims.

Brian Lester, executive director of the Regional HIV AIDS Connection, said disclosing the virus to intimate partners is "a complex issue." because there remains the stigma attached to those who are infected.

HIV, he said, is a public health issue, and a "shared responsibility" in a relationship.

While there are times when it may be appropriate for certain cases to be prosecuted, that harsh spotlight from the criminal justice system and the media can deter people from revealing their status and "can undermine our efforts in prevention,” he said.

"Most of HIV-positive people disclose their status. These are exceptions,” he said. “Most people are responsible in protecting themselves and others.”

There are psychological implications to the diagnosis he said and someone "can go into denial."

Gracie's doctor advised him December 2010 he would no longer treat him after he missed four appointments and his blood tests showed he wasn't taking his medication.

By then, he was having unprotected sex.

Both women in Gracie's case have their identities protected by court order

One victim case had been Gracie's friend. They would often walk their dogs together.

In early 2010, they got together at her home to watch TV and drink tequila. Gracie asked her to have sex with him. She refused.

She was feeling unwell and went to bed. Gracie agreed to sleep on a futon in the living room.

She woke up the next morning and Gracie was gone. She was sore and saw there was a bodily fluid in and on her.

Gracie eventually admitted having sex with her.

In January 2011, she got pregnant. During her regular blood work, she discovered she had HIV and called the police.

The second woman had a sporadic relationship with Gracie and had sex with him often — first with a condom, then without — starting in 2008.

They broke up and didn't see each other again until 2010 after Gracie found her through Facebook.

During their relationship, Czerkawski said, they talked about sexually transmitted diseases. Gracie assured her he was clean. Once, when he appeared sickly and anemic, he told her he had a kidney problem.

They re-kindled the relationship briefly in 2011. After seeing the London police media release, she was tested positive for HIV.

Both women have the same strain of the virus as Gracie.

Defence lawyer Antin Jaremchuk has requested a Gladue report — a special pre-sentence report specific for First Nations offenders.

Gracie's next court appearance is slated for Jan. 13. The Crown will seek to have a psychiatric assessment to begin the dangerous offender designation process.

Assistant Crown attorney Mark Czerkawski told Justice Peter Hockin that Gracie served a 10-year prison sentence for sexual assault causing bodily harm and counselling to commit murder starting in 1996.

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