A Halifax man who failed to disclose his HIV-positive status to a sexual partner has been sentenced to 7 ½ months in jail.
Gregory Howard Bowser, 30, was convicted in December 2020 of aggravated sexual assault following a three-day trial.
Justice Kevin Coady of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court gave Bowser credit for the time he has spent on strict house arrest and the 22 days he spent in jail immediately following his arrest. Those credits reduced what had originally been a 15-month sentence.
Evidence at the trial showed Bowser had unprotected sex with the victim in April 2018, despite being told a few weeks before by his family doctor that he was HIV positive and should use a condom.
Bowser did not tell the victim ahead of time about his HIV diagnosis. The victim — whose identity is protected by a publication ban — was, and remains, HIV negative.
A 'tumultuous and prolonged hardship:' victim
While Bowser's DNA has been added to a national data base, the Crown is not requesting that his name be placed in the national sex offender registry.
Following his jail term, Bowser must serve a year's probation, abstain from drugs and alcohol and seek whatever counselling is required.
Court was told at his trial that at the time of the incident, Bowser was still coming to terms with his diagnosis and was dealing with drug and alcohol abuse and a strained relationship with his father.
His victim received treatment following the incident that the judge described as "arduous."
In his victim impact statement, he described the period since the assault as a "tumultuous and prolonged hardship." The man said he suffers from depression and "despairing worthlessness".
Coady described Bowser's conduct as "reprehensible," but said his prospects for rehabilitation are very high.
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