Windsor sex offender who infected five women with HIV has bid for parole rejected; board cites ‘attitude’

Ego, attitude and a sense of entitlement.

Sex offender says he’s a changed man, but he failed on Thursday to convince parole board members he’s not the same self-centred predator who infected five women with HIV.

The two-person panel rejected Leone’s bid for day parole, which would have seen him released from the confines of prison to live at a halfway house in the community.

“I do understand the pain and suffering my actions have caused my victims,” Leone said during the hearing at Joyceville Institution outside Kingston. “That is something I will remember the rest of my life.

“I never want to resemble the guy I was prior to 2004. I realize that guy had major faults.”

Leone, who just turned 40, was convicted in 2008 on 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

He told the Parole Board of on Thursday he’s seen the error of his ways and he realizes how he hurt his victims.

Leone also claimed Thursday that police, who previously opposed his parole, told him they weren’t against it this time. Sgt. Matthew D’Asti told the Star that conversation never happened. He didn’t comment further except to say police play no role in such decisions.

We believe that attitude is still an overarching risk factor in your case. You remain an undue risk and day parole is denied

“We have faith the parole board will do their job efficiently and effectively,” said D’Asti. “We trust in their ability to make their decisions.”

Lack of opposition from Windsor police wouldn’t have made much difference.

“We believe that attitude is still an overarching risk factor in your case,” parole board member Louise Harris told Leone. “You remain an undue risk and day parole is denied.”

Between 1997 and his arrest in 2004, Leone had sex with multiple women and didn’t tell them he had HIV.

Leone, who lived with his parents, said half the sexual encounters happened in his family’s music business. There was a room there with a couch.

“It was a quiet place. That’s why I went there. I couldn’t go to my house. My parents were there.”

Five known victims contracted HIV from him. Three of them, before they met Leone, were virgins. Two of the women have since attempted suicide.

Some girls were as young as 16. Earlier parole board documents state Leone plied some women with drugs including cocaine and ecstasy, and had his way with them.

Leone still claimed Thursday he never drugged anyone. He did acknowledge the women were not always exactly willing.

“I didn’t get explicit consent,” he said. “I didn’t tell them I was HIV positive. I didn’t wear protection.”

He said he did “pressure or coerce” 90 per cent of the women into having anal sex.

Leone most likely contracted HIV, around age 21, from a Thai stripper. But he has conceded he was doing do a lot of heavy drugs around the same time.

“That’s how I was in the past. It was a one-way street. Everything was me, me, me.” — Carl Leone

He said Thursday he was also living a “promiscuous” lifestyle. There was a lot of partying.

“There’s alcohol, there’s drugs, there’s promiscuousness, there’s parties,” said Leone. “There’s sex with multiple partners.”

That didn’t end with his HIV diagnosis.

“The lifestyle I was living prior to being infected is the same lifestyle I was living after I was infected,” said Leone.

The party ended with his 2004 arrest.

Leone has done time in Warkworth and Bath medium security prisons. He was transferred to Joyceville in September 2011. It’s a minimum security facility in the shadow of the towering fences and twisted barbed wire of the medium security prison across the parking lot.

Leone lives in a house with other inmates. From the outside, the buildings look like a row of town homes you’d find in any neighbourhood. The inmates cook and clean for themselves and shop at a grocery store on prison grounds. It’s part of a system designed to ready them for re-entry into society.

In October 2014, the parole board granted Leone three unescorted temporary absences from prison. Two of those 72-hour trips, when he stayed at a halfway house, were for “administrative” reasons. The third trip was to visit his sister.

Leone said Thursday he’s also in a work program that brings him into the community six days a week.

With his father and sister sitting behind him, he told the parole board he’s ready for day parole. He said he has a plan, which includes support from the John Howard Society, an HIV organization and a chaplain. He said he has an HIV specialist set up for medical care and a couple of job offers.

He has also completed several counselling and sex offender programs.

But Harris, who was often argumentative with Leone and scolded him for not answering questions directly, seemed unimpressed with the efforts he says he made to rehabilitate.

She said she was concerned about his ego, his “sense of entitlement’ and seeming disregard for the opinions of others.

Harris worried Leone still doesn’t acknowledge the gravity of his crimes and the effect on his victims. He wrote in one questionnaire about his crimes that he was simply careless, and having HIV is no longer a death sentence.

“It’s minimizing,” said Harris.

Leone said he used to be like that, but no more.

“That’s how I was in the past,” he said. “It was a one-way street. Everything was me, me, me.”

Leone can appeal Thursday’s decision by the parole board, but it’s unknown whether he will do so.

About Trevor Wilhelm, Postmedia News