Calgary man pleads guilty to aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing HIV
A Calgary man has pleaded guilty to six counts of aggravated sexual assault.
The case involves six women and in each case, John McNamara failed to tell them he was HIV positive.
According to an agreed statement of facts, McNamara would meet women on dating websites then have unprotected sex — never telling the women he had the virus.
“This is a situation where individuals are consenting adults involved in sexual acts and there is simply a non-disclosure aspect to that sexual contact,” McNamara’s defence lawyer Shamsher Kothari said.
McNamara, 45, was diagnosed with HIV in November of 2000.
All of the sexual assaults happened between 2012 and 2013. They occurred throughout southern and central Alberta.
In one case, the victim found out McNamara was HIV positive when she found a pill bottle — the label showed it was prescribed to treat HIV.
The agreed statement of facts states the woman had previously asked McNamara if he had any sexually transmitted infections or medical history she should know about.
Police in both Calgary and Lethbridge issued warnings about McNamara. As a result of those warnings, other women came forward alleging he failed to disclose his history prior to having sex with them.
There were also warnings posted on several dating websites — one person wrote “McNamara is a danger.”
His lawyer says the guilty pleas are a sign of remorse.
Defence acknowledged McNamara’s actions caused extreme stress for the victims.
Court documents show McNamara’s viral load at the time of these sexual encounters would have been very high and he would have been quite infectious, putting the victims at “significant risk of HIV transmission.”
The women had to undergo rigorous testing over the course of six months.
“None of the individuals that were dealt with in court ever transmitted or received or were diagnosed with any kind of HIV. None of these individuals got HIV from any of the contact,” Kothari said.
Defence acknowledged McNamara’s actions caused extreme stress for the victims. The women had to undergo rigorous testing over the course of six months.
Their identities are protected by a court-imposed publication ban.
McNamara remains in custody. He’s been in remand for nearly two years.
He will now be sent for a psychiatric assessment.
A sentencing date will be set on March 2.
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