In graphic and disturbing detail, a jury heard Thursday an Ottawa man allegedly lied to several men in online chats about his HIV positive status in order to have unprotected sex with them and give them the virus.
Steven Paul Boone pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and administering a noxious substance by allegedly attempting to infect three men with HIV between January and April 2010. He was also charged with aggravated sexual assault on two of the men and three other men.
Crown prosecutor Louise Tansey-Miller said in her opening statement Boone’s actions were intentional and could have resulted in the deaths of his sexual partners.
“Mr. Boone used sex, his own toxicity and deceit to perpetrate his crimes,” argued Tansey-Miller. “He lied to some of his HIV-negative sexual partners about his HIV-positive status and he remained silent with others even as they disclosed their status to him.”
Approximately 3,000 pages of online chat logs with 600 different people were retrieved from Boone’s computer and entered as evidence. The chats read aloud in court Thursday were sexually explicit conversations between Boone and men he met online.
Before they were read aloud, the Crown told jurors there is a sub-culture known as “bug chasing,” in which HIV-negative men seek out the virus from HIV-positive men.
In at least nine chats read aloud by Ottawa Police Sgt. Ann Lapointe, Boone allegedly lied about his HIV status.
In one chat another man said he thought Boone wasn’t telling the truth about being “clean.”
When asked, Boone replied, “Yep. I’m clean,” said Lapointe.
The man later said, “You can go to jail for lying to me,” said Lapointe.
In other chats, some men were excited about contracting HIV from Boone. The jury was told these people were referred to as “bug chasers.”
Another witness, Boone’s former roommate, said when Boone told him he had HIV, he also said he didn’t use condoms when having sex.
“I was just blown away. I didn’t know what to say,” said the witness.
The trial continues Friday.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly described the term “bug chasing.” The description has been corrected.