HIV-positive J'can to answer to multiple sexual assault charges in Canada

Friday, June 23, 2017

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A Jamaican wanted in Canada on 12 counts of sexual assault, following allegations that he engaged in sexual intercourse with several women without disclosing his HIV status, was yesterday extradited after he lost his long battle to quash his extradition.

George Flowers, 47, of a Westmoreland address, left the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, yesterday in the company of law enforcement officers for Canada, where he is to face the court in respect to four women, who are claiming that he knew he was infected and had sex with them without telling them that he had HIV.

According to information from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP): “Three of the four complainants subsequently contracted HIV, and all complainants swore in affidavits that they would not have had sexual intercourse with him had they known he was HIV positive.”

The Globe and Mail website in an article in October 2012, reported the Toronto police as saying that Flowers worked in Toronto in the entertainment business and met the women in bars and other venues.

“It's alleged he has known since 1996 that he carries the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, but did not disclose his status,” the Globe and Mail report said.

“The Criminal Code specifies that anyone who is HIV positive must apprise their sexual partners, and charges can be laid regardless of whether the infection is transmitted,” the newspaper added.

The Canadian Government had requested Flowers' extradition from 2013, when he fled to the island.

However, after he was arrested in August 2015, Flowers sought to challenge an order that was made by then Resident Magistrate Simone Wolfe-Reece for him to be committed to custody pending his extradition by applying for his release by way of a habeas corpus application in the Supreme Court.

However, the application for release was dismissed on June 30, 2016, but he later filed a notice of appeal.

In response, the ODPP then filed an application to strike out the notice of appeal and was supported by the Attorney General's Chambers, which was upheld by the Court of Appeal on November 2016.

But Flowers, in a final attempt, filed an application in January, contending that the extradition warrant that was signed by Justice Minister Delroy Chuck on November 30, was flawed and invalid.

His defence team had argued that the warrant signed by Chuck on November 30 last year was invalid because it was signed while Flowers had a matter before the court. Furthermore, they contended that the warrant was no longer valid as the Extradition Act stipulates that a warrant expires after one month. However, the Court of Appeal later struck out the matter.

Flowers was represented by attorney Don Foote.




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