Ian Thomas Williams, 49, of Toronto is wanted for aggravated assault and failing to comply with probation. For the most part, Ian Williams feels sorry only for himself.
There are now at least four women who have been duped by the serial deceiver who seems determined not to reveal his HIV-positive status when he has unprotected sex with ladies he romances. And for the second time in six years, the 50-year-old former bouncer is heading to prison.
But this time, thanks to changes in the immigration laws, the Trinidad-born permanent resident is also facing deportation when he finishes serving his six-year sentence.
The tearful father of two spent most of the morning trying to decide if he would go ahead with his guilty plea to two counts of aggravated sexual assault, telling the court it would be akin to a death sentence if he’s then sent back to Trinidad where he won’t receive the health care he needs.
In the end, Williams did the right thing and accepted responsibility. “I feel very sorry for them people that I put that fear in them because I’m afraid, I’m afraid to be rejected,” he said through his sobs after pleading guilty before Justice John McMahon.
Diagnosed with HIV in 1996, Williams complained he was lonely and has been shunned by family and strangers alike as soon as they learn of his status. “It is inhumane,” he wept. “It’s very cruel.”
While sympathetic to the stigma he’s endured, the judge told Williams that he unfairly took advantage of two vulnerable women who are now sentenced to a lifetime of psychological pain. “He cannot put his sexual desires above the safety of people in the community,” McMahon said.
The case is the first since the controversial Supreme Court of Canada ruling last month that people with HIV who have a low viral load no longer have to disclose their status as long as they wear a condom. Williams’ viral load was low, “almost undetectable”, but still ran afoul of the ruling because he didn’t wear protection with the two women.
Both sides were awaiting the Supreme Court decision before proceeding with his case. “He simply didn’t tell people because he didn’t think he was a risk,” his lawyer Stephanie Heyens explained outside court. That may be, but Williams certainly knew he was breaking the law — he’s been convicted of this before.
Police were first alerted about Williams by his stepdaughter after she accused him of infecting her mother, who died of AIDS in 2005 at the age of 54. Though not charged in that case, he was convicted in 2006 on two counts of aggravated assault after two other girlfriends came forward to complain that he didn’t tell them he was HIV-positive.
Sentenced to two years in jail, Williams expressed remorse at the time. And then went on to repeat the exact same potentially lethal behaviour.
His newest victims were both grandmothers in their 50s who met the “very caring” Williams in 2011. One specifically told him how paranoid she was of contracting AIDS. He still told her nothing.
She was the first to go to police after a mutual friend told her about his past and she discovered all the horrifying details after typing his name into Google.
The other woman told him that her practice was to have her sexual partner tested for HIV. When Williams wouldn’t agree, she let it go and they went on to have a six-month relationship that lasted almost right up until his arrest. She only learned the truth after seeing his photo on the news on Sept. 2, 2011. “I felt dirty, betrayed, scared, ashamed and just wanted to die,” she wrote in her victim impact statement. “How could anyone do this to another human? How cold is that?”
Neither has tested positive, but both have contemplated suicide and suffer from depression and insomnia.
“It hurts beyond words,” said the first woman, who met Williams at a bar during Caribana. “Ian pick me like he is hunting a piece of meat to kill.” But thankfully, his hunting grounds will no longer be in Canada.
With 15 months credit for pretrial custody, Williams will serve four years and nine months in a federal prison before he’s bound for Trinidad.
(REPRODUCED FROM THE TORONTO SUN, BY MICHELE MANDEL, TORONTO SUN
FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2012 11:32 AM EST | UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2012 08:45 PM EST )