Abbotsford resident Brian Carlisle, 48, was charged last year with 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault. Those charges have now been stayed.

Abbotsford resident Brian Carlisle, 48, was charged last year with 12 counts of aggravated sexual assault. Those charges have now been stayed.

UPDATED: B.C. man accused of failing to disclose HIV-positive status says police launched ‘smear campaign’

Brian Carlisle of Abbotsford has filed human rights complaint and is considering lawsuit

The Abbotsford man who was accused of having unprotected sex with multiple women and not disclosing his HIV-positive status said his personal and social life have been destroyed by the allegations.

Twelve charges of aggravated sexual assault against Brian Carlisle, 48, were dropped by Crown counsel April 26 in Abbotsford provincial court.

Carlisle said he has now filed a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and is consulting with lawyers on a possible civil lawsuit.

He says the charges should never have gone ahead in the first place.

That’s because, under the law, he does not have to disclose the information if there is “no realistic possibility of transmission of HIV,” according to a BC Prosecution Service policy titled “Sexual Transmission, or Realistic Possibility of Transmission, of HIV.”

Carlisle said his medical records prove that his viral load has been undetectable dating back to 2004, but police ignored the evidence.

“Viral load” is the term used to describe the amount of HIV in the blood.

“Studies show that people with an undetectable viral load do not pass HIV to their sexual partners,” states the website for CATIE (Canadian Aids Treatment Information Exchange).

CATIE was among more than 600 organizations from 75 countries that endorsed a 2016 consensus statement confirming that the risk of HIV transmission from someone whose viral load is undetectable, due to effective antiretroviral therapy, is “negligible to non-existent,” further defining “negligible” to mean “not worth considering.”

But Carlisle says police rushed to judgment based on outdated and uneducated views about HIV.

“They’re so full of the stigma of the 1980s AIDS scare that they’re not even open to the possibility of ‘undetectable,’ ” he said.

Police initially reported in August 2017 that Carlisle was facing three charges, but Mission RCMP reported the following month that nine charges had been added after several more complainants came forward.

The alleged offences occurred in Abbotsford (three counts), Surrey (three), Maple Ridge (three), Mission (one), Deroche (one), and Burnaby/Coquitlam (one).

Carlisle said he spent three days in jail following the first set of charges and then a month after the second set.

He said investigators were immediately presented with his medical records. The same records were produced two more times through the court process before the charges were dropped last week, he said.

Dan McLaughlin, spokesman with the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS), said the charges were stayed because “the charge approval standard could no longer be met” and there was not a strong likelihood of conviction.

“In this case, the prosecutor concluded that the evidentiary test was no longer met and directed the stay of proceedings,” he said.

McLaughlin also referenced the “Sexual Transmission” policy in the decision being reached.

The policy states that a “realistic possibility” of the transmission of HIV is negated if “the accused’s viral load at the time of sexual relations was low.”

Carlisle describes the investigation and subsequent charges as a “smear campaign” by police, and says their “fear-mongering mentality” and their publicizing of the case has made it difficult for him to find and keep work and to maintain a social life.

He describes an incident in which a woman recognized him in public and began yelling at him.

“They believe I really did infect women,” he says of the public perception of him.

His grown daughter, Katherine, said because she shares the same last name as her dad, she has also been subjected to harassment and vitriol.

Carlisle said he hopes that more people become educated about modern HIV treatment and outcomes, and that he can move past this period.

“I would be happy to move forward with my life … but people won’t let me move forward,” he said.

Carlisle is a prominent marijuana activist and would-be politician in the Fraser Valley, including a bid for mayor of Chilliwack in 2002.

He told community news reporters as long ago as October 2002, in relation to his marijuana use, that he had seven debilitating conditions, including being HIV-positive, something that was mentioned in multiple subsequent stories.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Protesters in support of farmers against the Indian government's recent agriculture bills took a drive through Penticton before standing in protest outside the Cherry Lane Shopping Centre on Dec. 5. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Rally in support of India’s farmers travels through Penticton

Around 30 protesters participated in the rally

Two Canadian petitions are asking to have elected officials removed from office. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: Petitions show loss of faith in democratic process

Online petitions from third-party sources have taken aim at elected officials in Canada

Summerland’s cenotaph was originally installed in front of the high school. The old school was located close to the corner of Rosedale Avenue and Jubilee Road. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Cenotaph and parks in Summerland honour fallen soldiers

Community memorials pay tribute to those who were killed in military service

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

A snow moon rises over Mt. Cheam in Chilliwack on Feb. 8, 2020. Friday, Dec. 11, 2020 is Mountain Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that's ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov | AFP)
WEB POLL: Will you take a vaccine for COVID-19?

Doses are expected to arrive in the new year

Travis Hirlaka, Vernon
PHOTOS: Sunrise paints Okanagan skies

Residents in the Okanagan captured stunning shots of a colourful start to Saturday

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
First Nations Leadership Council demands justice for victims of B.C. social worker

Union of BC Indian Chiefs calls actions of Robert Saunders ‘nothing short of complete depravity’

(City of West Kelowna)
Large housing development in Central Okanagan back on the table

Council considering rezoning to accommodate 184 housing units, project hopes for ~933 by completion

Staff and students at Vernon’s Fulton Secondary School were evacuated due to an electrical short that sent one person to hospital Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Kerry Hutter photo)
Vernon high school evacuated, one person injured by electrical short

Incident at Clarence Fulton Secondary forced brief evacuation Friday afternoon

Chinook salmon spawning in the Fraser River near Tete Jeune Cache. ((Shane Kalyn photo, property of the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance)
North-Okanagan Shuswap MP petitions government to reform salmon management

Mel Arnold tables petition to allow more angler access to non-threatened Fraser River chinook salmon

Shuswap Cider Company has applied for a licence that would accommodate a cider manufacturing facility, a tasting room and patio/lounge area at Westgate Market in Salmon Arm. (File photo)
Cider manufacturing facilty, tasting room and patio proposed for Salmon Arm

Council asked to raise a virtual glass to a licence for a cidery and amenities in Westgate Mall

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Most Read