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Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Canada: Sentencing hearings begin for Carl Leone

Sentencing hearings are underway for Carl Leone in Windsor, Ontario, who pleaded guilty in April 2007 to 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault.

I hadn't begun this blog when his trial took place last Spring, so here is a recap of events, from The Windsor Star. There is also a Wikipedia page on Mr Leone.


- March 3, 1997 -- Leone visits Windsor-Essex County Health Unit with Thai stripper girlfriend and tests positive for HIV (she tests positive the next day);

- April 3 -- Leone meets director of Windsor's HIV care program and is told he must use a condom for sex;

- August -- The Thai stripper, unidentified in court, is ordered by health unit to abstain from unprotected sex;

- Nov. 19 -- Leone, who never returned to HIV clinic despite calls by staff, goes there for flu shot and has HIV-positive status confirmed;

- Dec. 31, 1998 -- Leone handed written order from health unit to abstain from unprotected sex;

- Jan. 23, 2000 -- Windsor police respond to domestic disturbance; complainant reports her fiance is HIV-positive and having unprotected sex with women;

- April 7 -- Leone is confronted with that allegation in meeting with Det. Laurel Boots, of the Windsor police sex assault branch; matter filed;

- Spring 2004 -- A health unit director alerts police of a new complaint against Leone, triggering a probe;

- June 6 -- Leone arrested;

- June 10 -- Windsor police issue public health alert and release photo of Leone, sparking a flood of calls to police and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's HIV testing clinic;

- June 11 -- Leone and lawyers meet with detectives, go over list of at least 27 sexual contacts;

- Nov. 10 -- Leone's family meets with director of Windsor's HIV care program and tries to argue he doesn't have it;

- Dec. 8 -- Leone released on $790,000 bail;

- March 5, 2007 -- Trial starts;

- April 27 -- Leone pleads guilty to 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault.

Today's article, from The Windsor Star, includes fascinating testimony from a forensic psychiatrist, Dr Philip Klassen.
Klassen said he "struggled a little bit" with the assessment because Leone didn't fit the conventional profile of a sex offender, and he told the court the crimes could also be seen as "fraud" which was perpetrated on his victims.
Is this a case of putting a square peg into a round hole?

Leone poses 'substantial risk' of reoffending: Doctor
Doug Schmidt
The Windsor Star
Monday, February 11, 2008

Convicted sex offender Carl Leone poses a "substantial risk" to reoffend and should be designated a long-term offender, a forensic psychiatrist who interviewed the Windsor businessman, his family and several of his victims, testified Monday.

"There is a likelihood of similar behaviour in the future," said Dr. Philip Klassen, deputy clinical director of Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Klassen conducted a court-ordered risk assessment of Leone, 32, found guilty last spring of 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault for engaging in unprotected sexual relations without advising his partners of his HIV-positive status.

Klassen said he "struggled a little bit" with the assessment because Leone didn't fit the conventional profile of a sex offender, and he told the court the crimes could also be seen as "fraud" which was perpetrated on his victims.

Leone "lived in a sort of sex-drenched, drug-drenched environment," Klassen said of the "after-hours lifestyle" of trolling strip clubs, using drugs and having casual sex. He said the way Leone, a salesman for a family-owned music business, presented his behaviour, it was "strictly business ... he was doing his rock 'n' roll duty, so to speak."

Five of the women he had unprotected sex with tested positive for the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Leone's dangerous offender hearing resumed this week before Superior Court Justice Joseph Quinn after a seven-week break. The court is expected to hear this week from four of Leone's victims and a psychiatrist testifying for the defence.

Having the Crown's psychiatrist recommending a long-term offender designation "is a lot better than dangerous offender," Leone's lawyer Andrew Bradie told reporters outside court.

A dangerous offender tag carries with it the equivalent of a life sentence with an indefinite term of incarceration, while a long-term offender sentence comes with a period in custody (two years minimum) followed by a community supervision order of up to 10 years.

Klassen said that Leone -- by not accepting responsibility, with his HIV-positive status and likelihood "he'll want to resume sexual activities" in the future -- represents a threat to the community.

"If there's a slip, it can be serious," he said, adding Leone lacks the ability to "self-manage" his sexual behaviour.

Klassen said he was "struck" in interviews with Leone and his father that both "separated legal from moral" in what Carl did, each telling the psychiatrist they were unaware that what Carl was doing was criminal.

At the least, Klassen testified, Carl displayed "a shocking lack of empathy for the people he was in relationships with."

Some of those women are expected to testify today on the impact Leone's behaviour had on them. Klassen suggested Leone may be suffering from "muted sexual sadism."

Klassen, who has presented close to 100 risk assessment cases in criminal court proceedings, said he had "very little confidence I was getting full answers from Mr. Leone."

He said Leone agreed to speak with him but was "guarded and evasive" and "did not give me permission to speak to persons outside his family."

Klassen spoke with Leone's father and sister, but said both interviews were characterized by "denial and minimization" of Carl's crimes. He said a "major factor" in their behaviour may have been a pending civil suit against the family.



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