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Man found guilty in HIV sex assault case
 
 
  By Louise Dickson, Times Colonist
Vancouversun.com
March 2, 2009 1:02 PM
 
A judge has found Charles Kokanai Mzite guilty of four counts of aggravated sexual assault for having unprotected sex with four Victoria women without telling them he has the virus that causes AIDS.
 
Mzite, 36, a member of the popular Jambanga marimba band that performs on the streets of downtown Victoria, did not react when Justice Robert Johnston read his verdict in B.C. Supreme Court Monday morning.
 
Johnston ruled the Crown had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mzite knew he was HIV positive and that he either denied or failed to disclose his status to his four victims, exposing them to the risk of serious bodily harm.
 
One of Mzite's victims, sitting in the back row of the courtroom, slipped out quietly after the verdict, and was embraced by a friend.
 
Mzite, a school teacher turned performer, was arrested in September 2007, six years after he moved to Canada from Zimbabwe.
 
The main issue of his trial, which began in November, was knowledge. When did he first learn he was HIV positive? Did he knowingly spread HIV to a young single mother who is now facing an uncertain future?
 
From the first day of his trial, when he stood in the prisoners' dock and entered four pleas of "not guilty," Mzite vigorously denied knowing until late 2004 that he was infected with the HIV virus. The Crown, on the other hand, argued Mzite knew he was HIV positive since 1995 and preyed on vulnerable women.
 
During the trial, all four women testified they would never had sex, let alone unprotected sex, with Mzite if they'd known he was HIV positive.
 
A date for Mzite's sentencing hearing will be set on Wednesday.
 
 
 
 
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