Aziga found guilty of first-degree murder
Published Saturday, April 4, 2009 8:07PM EDT
An HIV-positive Ontario man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of two women who died from AIDS-related illnesses.
In a precedent-setting case, Johnson Aziga, a 52-year-old from Hamilton, was also found guilty on 10 counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of attempted aggravated sexual assault.
A sentencing hearing is expected to take place on May 7.
During the trial, which began in October of last year, prosecutors said that Aziga had unprotected sex with former female co-workers and women he met at bars.
Aziga had been aware he was carrying HIV since 1996 and public health officials had ordered him to disclose his illness to any potential sexual partners.
During the trial, the jury of three women and nine men had to decide if the illnesses and deaths could be directly linked to Aziga, a Ugandan immigrant who worked for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.
The Crown said that seven women were infected with HIV and that two of them died after Aziga, in police custody since 2003, neglected to tell them about his illness.
Aziga met both of the deceased women while working for the Ontario government, the court heard.
Another four women were also exposed to the virus, but later tested negative for HIV, prosecutors told the court.
The defence, meanwhile, argued that Aziga's brain disorder and personal problems would not have enabled him to purposely hurt the women.
The jury issued their decision on Saturday afternoon after three days of deliberation.
During the trial, the court watched a videotaped statement from one of Aziga's former lovers who was only weeks away from her death.
During the interview, which was taped by police, the woman said Aziga never disclosed his illness during their relationship in the summer of 2000.
"No, he never did. Not at any time," said the woman, who was only identified as S.B.
The woman clearly stated that she would have refused sex with Aziga had she known he was carrying HIV.
Three weeks after the tape was made, S.B. died from AIDS-related cancers.
With files from The Canadian Press
Johnson Aziga is shown in this undated handout photo.