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Sunday, 12 October 2008

Canada: Mabior sentenced to 14 years

Clato Mabior, the Sudanese migrant found guilty on six counts of criminal HIV exposure in Winnipeg earlier this year has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

He was actually given a total sentence of 17 years (the Crown wanted 24) but Justice Joan McKelvey reduced it to 14 years "to bring the aggregate sentence in line with case law." Since he has already served the equivalent of five years since his arrest he actually gets to serve nine further years in prison before being deported back to the Sudan.

The case has brought up strong emotions in Canada, and I've included here a few pre-sentencing news reports as well as a very strongly-worded editorial from The Daily Graphic in Portage la Prairie, a small town in Manitoba not far from Winnipeg, which probably sums up how the average Canadian views the case.

Sex menace sentenced
HIV-infected man lured runaway girls with drugs

Paul Turenne
Winnipeg Sun
October 11th 2008

A Winnipeg man who had sex with "unsuspecting and vulnerable" partners as young as 12 without disclosing his HIV-positive status to them was handed a 14-year prison sentence yesterday.

Clato Mabior was arrested in March 2006 after the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority took the unprecedented step of issuing a public warning that the man was defying medical advice about his HIV and knowingly having sex with unsuspecting partners.

Police initially said they believed as many as 45 girls and women may have been victimized by the man, but Mabior was only tried in relation to 11.

In July he was convicted of six counts of aggravated sexual assault in relation to six of the victims, as well as one count each of invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference.

He was given a total sentence of 17 years for those crimes yesterday, but Justice Joan McKelvey reduced that to 14 years to bring the aggregate sentence in line with case law.

None of his victims has been diagnosed with HIV, something that is believed to be due to Mabior's medication reducing his viral load and therefore the potential for infection.

Court heard yesterday that one of his victims was 12 years old, and that Mabior had anal intercourse with the girl when he was well aware of her age.

Court also heard that another of the victims specifically asked Mabior whether he had any sexually transmitted diseases and he said no.

McKelvey called Mabior's actions "deliberate, intentional and in complete disregard of medical advice."

McKelvey noted that Mabior plied some of his victims with alcohol and drugs. At the time of his arrest, police said they believed Mabior had been luring runaways to his Sherbrook Street home with the promise of intoxicants and a place to stay.

The front lawn of the home was littered with empty beer cans and used condoms at the time, while Mabior's bedroom was decorated wall-to-wall with hardcore pornographic photos torn out of magazines.

When asked whether he had anything to say yesterday, Mabior began accusing witnesses of lying, then, after he was interrupted by his lawyer, told court "I want to die in my own country."

Mabior is originally from Sudan and will very likely be deported once his sentence is complete.

He has already served the equivalent of five years since his arrest and therefore has another nine to go.

Crown wants 24 years for HIV 'sex predator'
Winnipeg Sun
Fri, September 19, 2008
The Crown is seeking a 24-year prison sentence for a man who hid the fact he was HIV-positive from his young female sex partners.

Clato Mabior, 31, was convicted in July of six counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count each of sexual touching and sexual interference.

At a sentencing hearing yesterday, Mabior's lawyers asked Justice Joan McKelvey to consider a sentence of 13 or 14 years.

McKelvey reserved her decision. Mabior will return to court for sentencing Oct. 10. At trial, the victims -- one as young as 12 -- testified Mabior plied them with booze and drugs and engaged in repeated acts of unprotected sex without disclosing he was HIV-positive.

He knowingly withheld that information from his sexual partners on the basis that in all likelihood they would not have engaged in sexual contact with him," said McKelvey in convicting Mabior.

McKelvey called Mabior a sexual predator who preyed upon the young, vulnerable victims. At trial, defence lawyer Chris McCoy argued in many instances, Mabior's viral load was so low he was incapable of passing on the HIV virus.

No matter the risk, Mabior had a duty to disclose his health status, McKelvey said.

"Those that are infected with HIV cannot inappropriately and indiscriminately engage in sexual relationships for their own pleasure without regard to the consequences of others," she said.

Mabior was acquitted of three additional counts of aggravated sexual assault involving three different alleged victims. Mabior, a Sudanese refugee, is likely to face certain deportation upon completing his sentence.

HIV-positive Manitoba man hid disease from sex partners
Crown seeks 24-year prison term

Mike McIntyre
Winnipeg Free Press
Thursday, September 18, 2008

WINNIPEG - Manitoba justice officials are seeking a 24-year prison sentence for a Sudanese immigrant convicted of putting the lives of six young women at risk by hiding the fact he was HIV-positive and then engaging in unprotected sex.

The penalty, if granted, would be one of the longest ever given out in the province for a case not involving murder.

Lawyers representing Clato Mabior concede a harsh sentence is required, but say something in the range of 13 years is sufficient. Queen's Bench Justice Joan McKelvey has reserved her decision until Oct. 10.

Mabior was convicted earlier this summer on six counts of aggravated sexual assault, plus additional charges of invitation to sexual touching and sexual interference, in what is believed to be the country's most extensive case of its kind.

One of Mabior's victims was a 15-year-old girl who repeatedly broke down in tears as she described being raped by Mabior after he lured her from a temporary Child and Family Services "shelter" inside a downtown Winnipeg hotel with the promise of drugs and alcohol.

She was only 12 at the time.

"The accused preyed upon these vulnerable women, many of whom were underage and came from significantly compromised circumstances. Further, these women were supplied with alcohol and/or drugs and lured into a sexual relationship by a sexual predator," McKelvey said in handing down her verdict.

"His conduct was deplorable and despicable . . . and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Those that are infected with HIV cannot inappropriately and indiscriminately engage in sexual relationships for their own pleasure without regard to the consequences to others."

Mabior was cleared on charges involving three additional women after McKelvey said their evidence left her with a reasonable doubt.

Mabior was arrested in early 2006 following an unprecedented public warning by police and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority that prompted several young women to come forward - including teenage runaways. Police in Brandon, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and London, Ont., were also notified about Mabior, since he lived in each city after immigrating to Canada from Sudan in 2000.

Mabior faces likely deportation, but would have to serve out his entire sentence before that occurs. He will be given double-time credit of five years for the 30 months he has already spent behind bars.

Last month, another HIV-positive man was sentenced to eight years in prison for exposing two former girlfriends to the potentially deadly virus by failing to warn them about his medical condition.

The 35-year-old man, who can't be named under a court order, is also facing deportation back to his native Africa.

Editorial: Strong message must be sent on irresponsible intercourse
Clarise Klassen, managing editor,
The Daily Graphic (Portage, Manitoba)
August 1st 2008

Sudanese refugee Clato Mabior.

Former CFL defensive lineman Trevis Smith.

In Canada, it is relatively easy to identify the people who have spread the HIV virus to their unsuspecting sexual partners. That’s because, in Canada, to not inform someone you are about to be intimate with you have a disease that could possibly kill them is considered aggravated sexual assault and treated firmly by the court.

The realities faced by Mabior’s and Smith’s victims are awful to contemplate: repeated tests over a span of time to see if they have contracted the disease, never knowing if they are in the clear. Or, if they do contract HIV, having to undergo medical treatment to keep it from developing into full-blown AIDS, and also having to disclose that to their future, potential sexual partners.

In Mabior’s case, the fallout is particularly brutal as the African immigrant, 31, plied his underage victims in Winnipeg with alcohol and drugs before having repeated unprotected sex with them. He was convicted of six counts of aggravated sexual assault and two extra counts of sexual touching and sexual interference on July 15.

Perhaps Mabior thought he could bring his old ways to his new home in Canada without consequences, since there are few personal repercussions for HIV-infected people in Africa who infect others. Thankfully, Canada’s justice system takes a dim view of such heinous acts. And Canada’s Medicare system gives victims a better chance of receiving the care they need, compared to Africa.

While Canada lays out the unwelcome mat for HIV aggressors, and there is some hope of justice for the victims, the opposite is true in Africa.

African countries are being decimated by the disease. According to the UNAIDS 2008 Report on the global AIDS epidemic, Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22.5 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2007 and approximately 1.7 million additional people were infected with HIV during that year. In just the past year, the AIDS epidemic in Africa has claimed the lives of an estimated 1.6 million people in this region. More than 11 million children have been orphaned by AIDS.

There are no quick solutions to the HIV/AIDS pandemic on that continent, and no justice for the victims, many of whom are the orphans whose parents have died from the disease and the few grandparents still alive to care for them. And the David-like international organizations that face off against that Goliath are to be commended for their uphill battle.

In Canada, the courts are seeking to nip such deadly sexual behaviour in the bud before it becomes more prevalent. If they make the punishment strong enough, it may act as a deterrence for others.

Smith got 5 1/2 years for knowingly exposing two women to the virus that causes AIDS without informing them of his condition in Regina. Mabior has yet to be sentenced. Since the only way he will be held accountable for his actions is to spend time in a Canadian prison, perhaps it would be best to keep him here, rather than release him to continue his criminally irresponsible ways back in the Sudan. That country already has enough problems — including civil war, genocide, starvation and hundreds of thousands of displaced people — without adding another Mabior to the awful mix.



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