On the final day of Carl Leone's sentencing hearing, Mr Leone himself gave a statement to the court in which he says his "crime was horrendous and despicable - I deserve all the time I get."
He is likely to receive a minimum of 30 years in prison, and – if he is designated a 'dangerous offender', for which the Crown has argued – may receive an indefinite sentence, which in realistic terms, is imprisonment for life.
Mr Leone will be sentenced on April 4th.
Of note, in the comment section after the report in the Windsor Star (the local newspaper), is someone who appears to be one the complainants. 'A very hurt woman' writes:
one thing i want everyone to know is some of the women slept with him like one night stand wise.. Some as like myself was drugged in our drinks and raped and woken up and knew we were taken advantage of. so i want everyone to know I am the cleanest person you would ever meet i am the sweetest person you would ever meet and I thought he was my friend.. I had no intentions in being even close to Carl in any way and he did that to me..........I have never felt so sick in all of my life. For a chick who does not use public restrooms, to washing my hands everytime I pass a sink. I feel very very DISGUSTED! Sometimes I find myself to cry thinking why did this happen to me the person I was before this incident is taken from me and I dont think i can ever find myself again. One thing I can say is I did not contact the virus but I know for someone saying that they found jesus out of no where let me tell you something.... I had angels, angels who were over my shoulder and saved me from this virus. And I am able to be a mother I have always wanted to be and I can see them grow up.. But for those women who had gotten the virus I am so sorry that they have not the chance that I have gotten and I hope that happiness is in their eye.. I know nothing can change what you have to live with but I am so sorry words can not express my sincerity IM very sorry! This is horrible and I hope that this can turn into something better soon enough...An excerpt from the Windsor Star report is below, followed by another report from the Toronto Sun/Canadian Press (the case has made national news each day of the week).
Leone admits what he did was 'horrendous and despicable'
Doug Schmidt, Windsor StarPublished: Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Carl Leone told a court today he had no idea he was putting women's lives at risk when he engaged in unprotected sex with multiple partners over a seven-year period after being warned he was HIV-positive.
"My crime was horrendous and despicable - I deserve all the time I get," the Windsor businessman told Superior Court Justice Joseph Quinn at the conclusion of his dangerous offender hearing. The judge sentences Leone, 32, on April 4.
Last week, four of his victims were ushered into a courtroom through a back door to read victim impact statements on how their lives had been drastically and permanently altered. Assistant Crown attorney Tim Kavanagh read into the record statements provided by the other women.
"It was a very painful experience," Leone said of having to listen to the testimonials. "I feel no words can truly express my true remorse," he added, reading from a prepared text.
His words were at turn remorseful for the victims but also self-pitying. The only time his speech began to break was when he described his own personal battle with HIV.
Forensic psychiatrists for both the prosecution and the defence testified earlier in the hearing that Leone was adept at crafting his responses to questions on what he felt the listener wanted to hear.
"Only God knows that I'm sincere in my remorse," said Leone, acknowledging that "some may see this as a self-serving exercise."
Leone said he's now a "changed person" and that he has found Jesus.
The Crown wants the judge to impose a life sentence and declare Leone a dangerous offender requiring him to always be under supervision.
"There hasn't been in our legal history a case with as many offences," said Frank Schwalm, another assistant Crown attorney who fought the case. He called Leone's crimes "an orgy of extreme behaviour."
Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie didn't recommend a specific number but has asked the court to be fair, take his client's "fragile health" into consideration and to set a fixed prison term.
"I'm facing some serious prison time," said Leone.
When he eventually gets out, Leone told the judge he'd like to "share my powerful, personal story" and lecture youngsters on his "sickening and criminal action."
Man who kept HIV status a secret hopes he can be forgiven
By THE CANADIAN PRESS
Wed, February 20, 2008
WINDSOR, Ont. - A man who pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault for having sex with 15 women without telling them he was HIV-positive told a court Wednesday he didn't know he was putting people at risk.
Carl Leone pleaded guilty to 15 counts - one for each of his victims - for spreading the virus that causes AIDS, and five of those women are now infected with HIV.
The Crown is seeking to have Leone declared a dangerous offender, which means he could be jailed indefinitely. Leone is scheduled to be sentenced on April 4.
Leone's dangerous offender wrapped up in court Wednesday with the 32-year-old's statement, in which he expressed remorse and said he hopes he can be forgiven and one day return to the community.
Leone became choked up when he spoke about his shortened life expectancy due to his HIV status. He also said in the future, if he is released into the community, he will inform potential partners that he is HIV-positive and will wear a condom.
Defence lawyer Andrew Bradie said the sentiments were genuine and heartfelt.
"I think he understands, to some extent, the public (is owed) some explanation for this," Bradie said.
"Hopefully there's a lesson to everyone that this type of behaviour can result in disastrous consequences for everyone, and generally speaking, perhaps everyone should be more careful."
Assistant Crown attorney Frank Schwalm said Tuesday if the dangerous offender designation isn't granted, the Crown wants consecutive sentences for each of the 15 victims - amounting to between 30 and 50 years in prison.
The defence did not make any specific recommendations, but did agree with the consecutive sentences suggestion. Bradie said the defence would like to see Leone get more than a two-for-one credit for time served because of the poor conditions in the Windsor jail.
"In a range which is designed for 10 people, there are 15," Bradie said.
"People are three to a cell (and) one person in each of the cells is sleeping on the floor."
The Crown also said Tuesday that Leone is "overwhelmingly manipulative" and should be imprisoned indefinitely.
Leone cannot be trusted in the community because he lied to his victims about being HIV-positive when they asked if he had been tested, Schwalm said.
But Bradie said the Crown "utterly failed" to prove that his client should be declared a dangerous offender. He argued that Leone's 15 guilty pleas were based on consensual relationships, which is not aggressive behaviour.