published Wednesday, January 30, 2008
A Canadian judge who asked a witness with HIV and hepatitis C to wear a mask in the courtroom is being challenged by two AIDS advocacy groups, according to United Press International.
Complaints were filed with the Ontario Judicial Council about Justice Jon-Jo Douglas. The Criminal Lawyers Association has also filed a complaint against the judge.
A man is on trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow inmate at a provincial prison. During the November trial, it was revealed that the alleged victim had HIV and hepatitis. Douglas demanded that he wear a mask to hide his identity.
The trial's prosecutor said the judge ignored her argument that a mask was unnecessary.
"The HIV virus will live in a dried state for year after year after year and only needs moisture to reactivate itself," the court transcript quotes Douglas as saying. (The Advocate)