An Abbotsford man who had 12 charges dropped against him after being accused of failing to disclose his HIV-positive status to his sexual partners is suing the province of B.C. and 10 members of the Mission RCMP.
Brian Carlisle, 49, states in a lawsuit recently filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, that police conducted a “negligent investigation” and failed to consider medical evidence that he could not transmit the virus through sexual contact.
Carlisle says in his statement of claim that the allegations against him – and the subsequent media attention – severely impacted his professional and personal life and amount to defamation.
“The defendants’ prosecution of the plaintiff was malicious,” the court documents say.
“The defendants initiated proceedings against the plaintiff, which were later terminated, without reasonable and probable cause and with malice.”
Police announced in August 2017 that Carlisle, who was diagnosed with HIV in 2002, had been charged with three counts of aggravated assault after Mission RCMP had received a tip.
The police press release at the time stated that Carlisle had unprotected sex with multiple partners in the Lower Mainland and had failed to disclose his health status.
Police said they released the information because “the public interest clearly outweighs the invasion of Mr. Carlisle’s privacy.”
The following month, Mission RCMP announced that Carlisle was facing an additional nine charges of aggravated assault.
Police stated that the alleged offences had occurred in Mission, Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Burnaby.
However, in April 2018, Crown counsel announced that all 12 charges against Carlisle had been dropped, saying the evidence no longer supported a “likelihood of conviction.”
Carlisle states in his lawsuit that the Crown agreed with medical evidence from an HIV expert and Carlisle’s doctor that his “viral load” was undetectable and that he could not pass on the virus.
“Viral load” is the term used to describe the amount of HIV in the blood. Someone with an undetectable viral load is not required, under the law, to disclose their health status to their sexual partners.
Carlisle’s civil claim states that none of his sexual partners connected to the charges has tested positive for HIV.
But he says that, by the time the charges were dropped, the damage to him had already been done.
Despite having 12 to 18 years of experience in medical marijuana production, Carlisle states that he has been unable to find work in that field.
“Previously, the plaintiff was offered a position as a legal marijuana grower, a position that would have paid $140,000 a year,” the claim states.
Carlisle now works at a human resources company that does not use his name when dealing with clients, the claim states.
He also states that he has had difficultly finding housing, and the case has affected his family members.
His daughter has had to change her job twice, the court documents indicate.
Carlisle has considered changing his name, but is concerned about losing recognition for his previous publications and degrees, the civil claim states.
He is suing the province’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, the attorney general, and 10 RCMP officers: Steve Crawford, Kirsten Crombie, Cpl. Fox, Jessica Mackay, James Mason, Kosie Galos, David Peck, Kyle Friesen, Alex MacPherson and Kelsey Manning.
Carlisle is seeking damages for pain and suffering, loss of past and future income, and court costs.
The allegations have not been proven in court and responses to the notice of civil claim have not yet been filed.