|Steven Paul Boone (File photo)
OTTAWA - Steven Boone exposed two sex partners to a “realistic possibility” of getting HIV during unprotected anal sex and should be convicted of aggravated sexual assault against them, his lawyer told jurors Wednesday.
But charges of attempted murder and administering a noxious substance are still at issue, Ian Carter said. So are charges of aggravated sexual assault involving a man Boone had anal sex with using a condom and two men who performed oral sex on him.
The defence’s lone witness – the head of the infectious disease department at the Ottawa Hospital – concluded in a report that the risk of getting HIV through anal sex is much lower with a condom and “very low to zero” through oral sex.
That’s key, Carter told jurors, because Judge Bonnie Warkentin will advise them that a person only has to disclose their HIV status if there is a realistic possibility of infecting a partner – at least when it comes to charges of aggravated sexual assault.
The Crown alleges Boone “used sex, his own toxicity and deceit” in an effort to infect six sex partners from Dec. 2009 to April 2010. The 31-year-old learned he was HIV positive in Oct. 2009.
Dr. Mark Tyndall concluded the risk of transmission through an act of unprotected receptive anal sex is about one in 100 to one in 200. A condom provides at least 80% protection.
Tyndall disagreed with the Crown expert’s estimate that a man who had mutual oral sex with Boone faced a one in 909 risk of infection.
“I believe that there was essentially no risk from either of these encounters,” he wrote.
Infection from oral sex is theoretically possible, for example if someone had bleeding gums because of bad dental hygiene but HIV cannot withstand the hostile environment of the mouth and the digestive tract, according to his report.
“If you were to take a glass of blood laced with HIV and drink it, you would not get infected,” he testified in court. “If you did that 5,000 times I don’t think you would get infected.”
Tyndall conceded under cross-examination that the risk of being infected through oral sex is not zero and that he advises his HIV-positive patients to use condoms during the act.
His testimony wrapped up evidence at the trial, which has heard from six of Boone’s sex partners and his graphic MSN chats delving into the “bugchaser” subculture.
The jury will hear closing arguments Monday.