Ottawa gay activist Youden found not guilty in HIV-assault case

Published: June 4, 2014

Ottawa gay activist Elliott Youden has been found not guilty of aggravated sexual assault after a second trial in which prosecutors alleged he failed to declare his HIV-positive status to a sex partner he met online.

The first trial ended abruptly in January because of a “juror issue,” but the Ottawa Crown attorney’s office rejected the option of having the judge alone rule on the case and insisted on a second trial.

“In my opinion, it was really unnecessary,” Youden said after the verdict. “The Crown didn’t present any new evidence. It’s been extremely stressful and has been a huge financial burden. It’s caused me a lot of sleepless nights and left a lot of HIV-positive people feeling that they’re vulnerable.”

Youden said the only evidence police had against him were his medical records.

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