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US: Woman living with HIV faces charges in Indiana for HIV non-disclosure

HIV Positive Woman Accused Of Sex Crimes With Minor
March 21, 2017

Vigo County, Ind (WIBQ) –  A West Terre Haute woman made her first court appearance Monday on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and failure to warn.

Court documents show that 21 year old Lisa Custer carries the HIV virus.

Allegedly she had sexual relations with a 15 year old boy after she began dating the child’s father and then moved into their home.

It wasn’t until two days after their encounter that she told him of her HIV status.

In court, Custer’s bond was set a $20,000 with cash only.

Her trial is scheduled for August 21st.

Published in WIBQ on March 20, 2017

New Zealand: Man living with HIV appears in court in Auckland for alleged HIV transmission and non-disclosure

Man on trial for infecting boyfriend with HIV
March 21, 2017

A man who allegedly knowingly infected his partner with HIV promised he was “fine”, a court has been told.

Mikio Filitonga, 37, appeared at the Auckland District Court today defending a charge of causing grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard and one of committing a criminal nuisance by doing an unlawful act.

The Crown alleges Filitonga, knowing himself to be positive after a test in May 2013 and “fully aware of his obligation to disclose his health status to his sexual partner”, had unprotected sex with his live-in boyfriend.

This caused his partner, who has name suppression, to contract HIV.

The man told the jury he first met Filitonga one morning in a park in early 2014 when he was looking for his dog. They got along and he invited Filitonga back to his home.

There he asked Filitonga what his status was.

Filitonga told him was “fine” and that he’d been tested three months earlier, the man told the court.

“I was pleased and I thought he was pretty cool and we got on really well.”

The man said knew he was negative himself because he’d been regularly tested as he was planning on having a baby.

“I had a burning desire to be a father.”

Once the coupled established they were both “safe” during that first meeting, the man performed unprotected oral sex on Filitonga and a few weeks later they had intercourse.

A relationship blossomed.

At one point during his evidence, the man was overwhelmed with emotion and had to leave the courtroom for a break.

After two months of dating and during a holiday to the Philippines with friends, the man grew ill with nausea, aches, a fever and a rash which spread over his body.

He said he figured it was probably a tropical virus and busied himself with planning his mother’s 90th birthday. He later learned these were symptoms of seroconversion, when a person first develops antibodies for HIV.

But while he was sick he stopped donating sperm to the woman he’d chosen to be his co-parent “just in case”.

“I would never forgive myself if [something happened]. Just to be safe for her sake,” he said.

The couple quickly grew close and Filitonga moved in but by August the relationship had broken down amid suspicions the defendant was unfaithful.

The man said he got in touch with one of Filitonga’s ex-boyfriends and subsequently texted the accused on October 21, 2014, asking what his sickness “really is”.

“So please tell me now for real, have you got HIV or something? You have to tell me if you do. Something’s not been said, I know it. Is that why you avoid having sex?”

He sent other similar texts but they all went unanswered although they continued to see each other.

That December, he was tested again for HIV and learned he was positive.

But defence lawyer Ross Burns said the Crown had to prove the man didn’t have sex with anyone other than the three men who will be called as witnesses between the time the complainant tested negative in August 2013 and when he tested positive in December 2014.

The other partners have all tested negative for HIV.

“If there is a reasonable possibility that the complainant had sex over that 16-month period with any other person, then you cannot find the defendant guilty,” Burns told the jury.

During cross-examination, the lawyer asked whether the man knew the park in Western Springs where he first met Filitonga was a “quite a well-known gay cruising spot”.

He asked whether the man had in fact gone looking for a partner.

“That’s not the case. I don’t like that place and I don’t do that,” he responded.

The man admitted he’d had brief relations with previous partners who have since tested negative for HIV.

The trial continues and is set down for two weeks.

The law and HIV

• If you are HIV positive, you do not have to disclose your status before having intercourse as long as you are using a condom.

• If the sex is unprotected, the HIV-positive person has a legal duty to disclose his/her status.

Published in Stuff on March 20, 2017

US: Georgia man charged with “assault by an HIV infected person” against a police officer for not disclosing his status during arrest

HIV Postive Man Attacks Woman, Charged with Assault on Officer
March 18, 2017

Johnny Claude Mitchell, 31 of Rome, was arrested on Wednesday for numerous charges including preventing a woman from calling 911 and assault against a police officer while being infected with HIV.

Reports stated that when a 40 year-old woman attempted to call 911 he slapped the phone out of her hand. He then proceeded to cut her tires on her car so that she could not leave the home on Doyle Road.

Police stated that while being placed under arrest he did not disclose that he had HIV.  They added that Mitchell had numerous open wounds and blood on his arms, neck and hand as the officer made contact with him.

Mitchell is charged with obstructing a person making an emergency call, assault by an HIV infected person on a police officer and criminal trespass.

Published in Coosa Valley News on March 17, 2017

[Update]Mexico: Legislation to criminalise HIV transmission withdrawn in San Luis Potosi State Congress

Diputada retira dictamen para penalizar el contagio de VIH en SLP
March 17, 2017

A House Representative withdraws opinion/ruling that would criminalize HIV transmission in San Luis Potosi

The opinion/ruling with draft decree that was intended to add the crime of risk of contagion to the penal criminal code of the State of San Luis Potosi was withdraw The document established penalties and sanctions to whom or who put someone else at risk of contagion of  “a venereal disease or other serious infective period”.

A Member of San Luis Potosí friends fight against AIDS  /, Andrés Costilla Castro denounced than this initiative was an attempt against the dignity  of PLHIV and promoted stigma towards PLHIV in San Luis Potosí and  because of that, they demanded for such decree to be eliminated.

The document was presented by Esther Angelica Martinez Cardenas of the PRI and approved by justice committees; Health and Social Welfare.

Costilla Castro reiterated that this initiative would put people with HIV under a status of potential criminals, and that it opposed their dignity as persons, attempting to take away human rights and stigmatising them because of a health condition.

The opinion/ruling read as follows:

The offence of contagion is committed if a person puts someone in danger of contagion, knowing they are suffering from a venereal disease or other serious illness during an infectious period, putting in danger of contagion the health of another person, by sexual intercourse, or other transmissible method; shall be sentenced from one month to three years in prison, and up to forty days of the value of the unit of measurement and valid update. If the condition or disease was incurable, a sentence of six months to five years in prison shall be imposed. In  the case of spouses, boyfriends or concubines, only the case could proceed following a complaint by the offended party.

The opinion/ruling was removed during the session on Thursday to be analyzed again by the committees involved in the issue.

Diputada retira dictamen para penalizar el contagio de VIH en SLP

Fue retirado el dictamen con proyecto de decreto que planteaba  la adición del delito de Peligro de Contagio al Código Penal del Estado de San Luis Potosí. El documento establecía penas y sanciones a quien o quienes pongan a otra persona en riesgo del contagio de “una enfermedad venérea u otra grave en período infectante”.

Por su parte el integrante de la organización Amigos Potosinos en Lucha Contra el Sida, Andrés Costilla Castro denunció que esta iniciativa  atenta contra la dignidad y promueve el estigma hacia las personas con VIH en San Luis Potosí por lo que solicitaron fuera bajado este dictamen.

El documento, fue presentado por la priista Esther Angélica Martínez Cárdenas y aprobado por las Comisiones de Justicia; y Salud y Asistencia Social.

Costilla Castro reiteró que esta iniciativa colocaría a las personas con VIH bajo un estatus de posibles criminales, contraviniendo a su dignidad como personas, a tentando a sus derechos humanos y estigmatizándolos por su condición de salud,

El dictamen marcaba lo siguiente:

Comete el delito de peligro de contagio quien, a sabiendas de que padece una enfermedad venérea u otra grave en período infectante, ponga en peligro de contagio la salud de otra persona, por relaciones sexuales, u otro medio transmisible; será sancionado de un mes a tres años de prisión, y hasta cuarenta días del valor de la unidad de medida y actualización vigente

Si la enfermedad padecida fuera incurable se impondrá la pena de seis meses a cinco años de prisión. Cuando se trate de cónyuges, concubinarios o concubinas, sólo podrá procederse por querella de parte ofendida

El dictamen fue retirado durante la sesión de este jueves para ser analizado nuevamente por las comisiones involucradas en el tema.

Published in La Orquesta on March 17, 2017

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First article published on March 16, 2017 (English google translation, scroll down for Spanish article)

Congress a step away from criminalising HIV transmission…Again

The Secretary of health, international treaties and activists are against the proposal.

By María José Puente

This Thursday, in a plenary session, the State Congress will vote on a draft decree that adds the crime of Danger of Contagion to the Penal Code of the State of San Luis Potosí. If approved, the new legislation establishes penalties and sanctions to those who put someone else at risk of contagion of “a venereal or other serious illness when being infectious.”

The document, already approved by the Justice Commissions; and Health and Social Services , was presented to the Congress by Esther Angélica Martínez Cárdenas, from the PRI group. There, the deputy says that it is necessary for the Potosino penal code to adopt the federal standard, where the crime is mentioned and allows for a penalty of up to 5 years in prison, equal to the one raised in the State decision.

The text reads:

“The offense of contagion is committed by a person who, knowing that he suffers from a venereal or other serious illness in an infectious period, endangers the health of another person by sexual intercourse or other transmissible means; Will be sanctioned from one month to three years in prison, and up to forty days of the value of the current unit of measurement and update.

If the illness suffered is incurable, a sentence of six months to five years’ imprisonment shall be imposed. In the case of spouses, or concubines, the case may only proceed following a complaint by the offended party “.

For the organizations that defend the rights of the LGBT population and the Ministry of Health at the national and even state level, this homologation is not only anachronistic, but it  also puts at risk the population suffering from ilnesses such as those mentioned there and particularly those who have been or may be diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.

REPEATED ERROR

In October of 2016, Juan Manuel Carreras, governor of San Luis; In conjunction with the Women’s Institute, attempted a similar legislative move, presenting a package of initiatives aimed at preventing violence against women.

The argument, said in an interview Jeús Paul Ibarra Collazo , head of Red Diversificadores Sociale was directed in such a way because the rate of contagion of women by way of their spouses could increase because part of the male population, openly heterosexual, actually had sexual relations with other homosexual men, contracted the disease and then, continued at the same time with their female partner, which resulted in her being infected as well.

Ibarra Collazo recognizes that the male homosexual population leads the statistics of HIV or AIDS, because by keeping alive what he calls internalized homophobia, the spread of the disease through sexual contact between men increases the number of cases.

Regardless of this, the Ministry of Health sent a press release specifically addressed to Juan Manuel Carreras, who asked him to take a second look at the initiative because, according to international treaties to which Mexico is a signatory, the measure that the governor and the IMES intended to boost is useless.

The National Center for Prevention and Control of HIV / AIDS of the Ministry of Health calls for an analysis of this proposal in the framework of international and national recommendations in this area, since criminalization or criminalization of people with HIV is not a public policy that helps to reduce and control the epidemic, quite the contrary, it has been shown that the establishment of restrictions, indications or penalties for people with HIV does not prevent them from spreading the virus and there is little evidence that Criminal sanctions will ‘rehabilitate’ a person so as to avoid future risk behavior of HIV transmission, “the statement said.

After reception of the document and after a dialogue between the state agencies, Red Diversificadores Sociales and the pressure of the group Amigos Potosinos in Fight against Aids, the initiative seemed to have been withdrawn; However, this March 16, again and after already having been approved by the aforementioned committees, the article will be voted on by the 27 deputies that make up the Congress, without it being clear whether Congresswoman Esther Angélica Martínez Cárdenas is aware or not of the previous initiative.

STIGMA, DISCRIMINATION AND LACK OF PREVENTION POLICY

  Although the Ministry of Health points out that “imposing penalties can only be justified in case of conduct that is legally condemnable, so that criminal law based on this objective can only legitimately be applied to a subset of cases of HIV transmission” it also highlights that “this does not have anything to do with the primary goal of preventing HIV transmission. “

This can also be seen as presented by APELCS : “It is very difficult to determine causality, deceit, intentionality and various factors involved in the transmission of HIV”, and also, as stated by Paul Ibarra, and reaffirmed by the Ministry of Health, establishing punitive measures for the contagion of HIV or any other disease could inhibit the will of the key subjects to undergo the screening tests that finally have proven to be a palliative way to avoid transmission.

That is, when there is a penalty for contagion, it automatically pose a warning sign on the carriers, whether men, women, children or girls, which can facilitate discrimination and stigma on a disease that, with the advance of science and effective public policies of prevention, has ceased to be a death sentence for a large part of the population.

APELCS , on the other hand, exhorts “the members of the Health Commissions; Justice and social services; In particular to Congresswoman Esther Angélica Martínez Cárdenas to reconsider the criminalization of HIV and to lower this initiative, as they would put people with HIV under the status of potential criminals, in contravention to their dignity as persons, undermining their human rights and stigmatizing them for their Health condition “.

Paul Ibarra , on the other hand, points out what seems to be obvious and that is that there is a dislocation between the powers of the state, since the return of this attempt to change the Criminal Code, denotes that the deputy who is promoting it did not take into account the antecedent in October, nor was aware of the pronouncement against by the Ministry of Health, RDS and APELCS scarcely 5 months ago.

Published in La Orquesta on March 16, 2017

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Congreso, a un paso de penalizar el contagio de VIH… Otra vez

Secretaría de Salud, tratados internacionales y activistas están en contra de la propuesta.

Por María José Puente

Este jueves, en el Pleno del Congreso del Estado será votado un dictamen con proyecto de decreto que plantea la adición del delito de Peligro de Contagio al Código Penal del Estado de San Luis Potosí. De aprobarse, la nueva normativa establece penas y sanciones a quien o quienes pongan a otra persona en riesgo del contagio de “una enfermedad venérea u otra grave en período infectante”.

El documento, ya aprobado por las Comisiones de Justicia; y Salud y Asistencia Social, fue presentado en el Congreso por Esther Angélica Martínez Cárdenas, de la bancada priista. Ahí, la diputada expone que es necesario que el código penal potosino tome de molde la norma federal, donde el delito mencionado sí se contempla y establece una pena que puede llegar a los 5 años de prisión, igual que lo plantea el dictamen estatal.

Textualmente, en el dictamen se lee:

“Comete el delito de peligro de contagio quien, a sabiendas de que padece una enfermedad venérea u otra grave en período infectante, ponga en peligro de contagio la salud de otra persona, por relaciones sexuales, u otro medio transmisible; será sancionado de un mes a tres años de prisión, y hasta cuarenta días del valor de la unidad de medida y actualización vigente.

Si la enfermedad padecida fuera incurable se impondrá la pena de seis meses a cinco años de prisión. Cuando se trate de cónyuges, concubinarios o concubinas, sólo podrá procederse por querella de parte ofendida”.

Para las organizaciones de defensa de los derechos de la población LGBT y la propia Secretaría de Salud a nivel nacional y hasta estatal, dicha homologación es no solo anacrónica, sino que pone en riesgo a la población portadora de enfermedades como las que ahí se señalan y particularmente a quienes han sido diagnosticados o podrían serlo con VIH o Sida.

ERROR REPETIDO

En octubre de 2016, Juan Manuel Carreras, gobernador de San Luis; en conjunto con el Instituto de las Mujeres intentó una movida legislativa similar, presentando un paquete de iniciativas que tenían como objetivo prevenir la violencia contra las mujeres.

El argumento, dice en entrevista Jeús Paul Ibarra Collazo, titular de Red Diversificadores Sociales; se dirigía en el sentido de que el índice de contagio de mujeres por la vía de sus cónyuges podría ir en aumento porque parte de la población masculina, abiertamente heterosexual, en realidad mantiene relaciones sexuales con otros hombres homosexuales, contrae la enfermedad y luego, al continuar con su pareja mujer, ella también resultaba contagiada.

Ibarra Collazo reconoce que la población homosexual masculina lidera la estadística de contagio de VIH o Sida, pues al mantenerse vivo lo que él llama homofobia interiorizada, el contagio y diseminación de la enfermedad por contacto sexual entre hombres incrementa el número de casos.

Independientemente de ello, la Secretaría de Salud envió un comunicado de prensa específicamente dirigido a Juan Manuel Carreras, a quien le pidió echar un segundo vistazo sobre la iniciativa pues, según tratados internacionales a los que México está suscrito, la medida que el gobernador y el IMES pretendían impulsar es inservible.

El Centro Nacional para la Prevención y Control del VIH/Sida de la Secretaría de Salud hace un llamado para que se analice esta propuesta en el marco de las recomendaciones internacionales y nacionales en la materia, ya que la penalización o criminalización de las personas con VIH no es una política pública que ayude a la disminución y el control de la epidemia, muy por el contrario está demostrado que el establecimiento de restricciones, señalamientos o penas a personas con VIH no impide que propague el virus y existe poca evidencia de que las sanciones penales ‘rehabilitarán’ a una persona de modo que evite un comportamiento futuro de riesgo de transmisión del VIH” sentencia el comunicado.

Recibido el documento y tras un diálogo entre las dependencias estatales, Red Diversificadores Sociales y la presión del grupo Amigos Potosinos en Lucha contra el Sida, la iniciativa parece haber sido retirada; sin embargo, este 16 de marzo, nuevamente y ya aprobado incluso por las comisiones mencionadas, el dictamen será votado por los 27 diputados que integran el Congreso, sin que quede claro si la diputada Esther Angélica Martínez Cárdenas tiene conocimiento de la iniciativa anterior.

ESTIGMA, DISCRIMINACIÓN Y ESCASA POLÍTICA DE PREVENCIÓN

 Aunque la Secretaría de Salud apunta que “imponer penas solo puede justificarse en conductas que sean jurídicamente condenables, de modo que el derecho penal basado en este objetivo solo puede aplicarse legítimamente a un subconjunto de casos de transmisión del VIH” también remata que “esto no tiene nada que ver con el objetivo principal de prevenir la transmisión del VIH”.

Eso puede también verse como lo plantea APELCS: “Es muy difícil determinar la causalidad, el dolo, la intencionalidad ya que intervienen diversos factores en la trasmisión del VIH” además, como también secunda Paul Ibarra y reafirma la Secretaría de Salud, establecer medidas punitivas por el contagio de VIH o cualquier otra enfermedad podría inhibir la voluntad de los sujetos clave para someterse a las pruebas que finalmente sí han demostrado ser un paliativo para evitar el contagio.

Es decir, que al existir una pena por el contagio, automáticamente se establece una señal de alerta sobre los sujetos portadores, sean hombres, mujeres, niños o niñas, lo que puede favorecer la discriminación y el estigma sobre una enfermedad que, con el avance de la ciencia y las políticas públicas efectivas de prevención, ha dejado de ser, para una buena parte de la población, una sentencia de muerte.

APELCS, por su parte, exhorta “a las y los integrantes de las Comisiones de Salud; Justicia y asistencia social; en particular a la Diputada Esther Angélica Martínez Cárdenas a reconsiderar la penalización del VIH y a bajar esta iniciativa, pues colocarían a las personas con VIH bajo un estatus de posibles criminales, contraviniendo a su dignidad como personas, atentando a sus derechos humanos y estigmatizándoles por su condición de salud”.

Paúl Ibarra, por otro lado, señala lo que a ojos vistas parece saltar y es que existe una desarticulación entre los poderes del estado, pues el regreso de este intento de modificación al Código Penal, denota que la diputada que la promueve no tomó en cuenta el antecedente de octubre, ni tuvo conocimiento del pronunciamiento en contra hecho por la Secretaría de Salud, RDS y APELCS hace escasos 5 meses.

Published in La Orquesta on March 17, 2017

US: Florida Supreme Court rules that HIV-disclosure before “sexual intercourse” applies to same-sex relationships as well as heterosexual ones

Florida Supreme Court rules sex is sex, no matter who’s doing it
March 17, 2017

A law that requires someone with HIV to notify a potential sex partner beforehand applies to same-sex relationships as well as between a man and a woman, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously decided Thursday.

The defendant, Gary Debaun, has been trying to have a charge dismissed under a 1986 state law designed to prevent the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus.

Debaun is HIV-positive, according to records.

The case, argued last February, involved the definition of “sexual intercourse.” In 2011, Debaun, a man, lied to a male sex partner that he was HIV-negative, “forg(ing) his doctor’s signature on the lab report,” the opinion said. It did not state whether the other man acquired the virus from having sex with Debaun.

Lawyers for Debaun had argued the law says it’s illegal not to disclose an HIV infection before “sexual intercourse,” but that definition only appeals to traditional sex between a man and a woman—not two men.

The law itself does not define sex, and two different appellate courts had disagreed over the definition.

Justice Charles Canady, who wrote the decision, said: “We first consider the plain and ordinary meaning of the term ‘sexual intercourse’ and conclude that it is not limited to only penile-vaginal intercourse.”

He then notes that “HIV can be spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, but anal sex presents the greatest risk of transmitting the infection,” and “gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men … are the population most severely affected by HIV.”

Including forms of sex other than penile-vaginal in the definition of intercourse is “a reasonable result, which gives full effect to the Legislature’s intent to reduce the incidence of HIV,” Canady wrote.

“As used in a statute directed at curtailing the spread of HIV(, )it would be absurd for the term ‘sexual intercourse’ to apply only to the act of heterosexual penile-vaginal intercourse,” he added.

As of mid-2015, the Florida Department of Health estimated that nearly 110,000 Floridians were living with HIV, and there had been almost 5,900 newly-diagnosed HIV infections in the state in 2014.

The full decision is available to download here

 

US: Full text of Florida Supreme Court ruling on “sexual intercourse” and its HIV disclosure law

Debaun v State of Florida, SC13 – 2336, March 16 2017
March 17, 2017

Conclusion

The term “sexual intercourse” in section 384.24(2) encompasses conduct beyond heterosexual penile-vaginal intercourse.We therefore approve the Third District’s decision in
Debaun and disapprove the Second District’s decision in L.A.P. to the extent that it conflicts with this opinion.

US: Louisiana man sentenced to 20 years for alleged HIV-exposure

Man accused of having sex with teen and infecting with HIV pleads guilty, sentenced
March 15, 2017

Man accused of having sex with teen and infecting with HIV pleads guilty, sentenced

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) –

On March 10, a Laplace man pleaded guilty to charges of felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile and intentional exposure to AIDS virus.

Barlon Cammon, 33, pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors following reported sexual intercourse between Cammon and an underage male.

Officials say between the dates of January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013, Cammon, who knew he was infected with AIDS, engaged in sexual intercourse with an underage male in St. James Parish. Cammon failed to inform the victim he was diagnosed with AIDS before engaging in sexual activity, as is required by Louisiana law.

Cammon was sentenced to 20 years with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served. He was also sentenced to the maximum time allowed by law – 10 years – for the charge of international exposure to the AIDS virus. This time will be served without the benefit for parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. On the charge of felony carnal knowledge, Cammon was also sentenced to the maximum amount of time allowed – 10 years – with credit for time served.

Five years of the sentence for the felony carnal knowledge charge was suspended upon his release from the DOC. He will be on five years’ probation and will be required to register as a sex offender. The sentences are to run consecutive to one another and concurrent with any other sentences in other jurisdictions.

Cammon was also ordered to pay an amount of money to the victim to compensate him for his loss. The judge ordered Cammon to pay the victim $500,000 after hearing testimony from the victim, his mother, and another family member.

According to reports, Cammon was initially arrested by the Gonzales Police Department on the above allegations, but was released on bond.

He was then arrested by the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office on the same types of charges.

SJBPSO booked Cammon on two counts of intentional exposure to AIDS virus and two counts of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

Published in WAFB on March 14, 2017

US: Indiana man faces felony charge for alleged HIV non-disclosure

Man arrested, charged for not informing partner of HIV status
March 15, 2017

Man arrested, charged for not informing partner of HIV status

WARSAW — A Silver Lake resident is likely to face additional charges for hiding his HIV status from sex partners.

An affidavit was filed Tuesday in Kosciusko Superior Court indicating that Travis Spoor, 37, allegedly had sex on multiple occasions with a woman that he met on the dating site Match.com.

Police say that Spoor told the woman that his name was Ray Hildeman. The two spoke over the phone for about two weeks before meeting in person. The woman told police that the man she knew as Ray Hildeman then came to her house on March 5, and spent a week there and that they had unprotected sexual intercourse three times.

 The woman told police that she did not know his true identity at the time, and he never told her that he had tested HIV positive.

The woman told police that he left Sunday after she told him that her children were coming home. The victim learned the man’s true identity because he forgot his wallet and she found a license with the name Travis Spoor that included a photo of the man she knew as Ray Hildeman.

The victim then contacted the Kosciusko County sheriff and made a report.

Spoor admitted to police on March 13 that he used an alias on the dating site and that he had had a relationship with the victim and that the two had unprotected sex and that he did not inform her of his HIV status.

Spoor, who lives in southern Kosciusko County, already is facing felony charges in Marshall County for allegedly failing to tell sex partners he was HIV positive. He also is facing additional charges in Kosciusko and Allen counties for similar behavior.

The charges stem from relationships going back to at least 2013. In court documents, prosecutors alleged Spoor knew he was HIV-positive since 2012.

Spoor signed a document on Jan. 4, 2013, saying he would warn potential sex partners of his HIV positive status in accordance with Indiana law, according to the probable cause affidavit. Spoor also signed a post-test counseling form from the Indiana Department of Health that prohibited him from having sexual intercourse if he did not first inform his partners of his HIV positive status.

Pubished in the South Bend Tribune on March 14, 2017

[Update]Canada: Man accused of alleged HIV transmission and non-disclosure in Quebec sentenced to 7 years in jail

Le porteur du VIH condamné pour des relations avec des femmes
March 15, 2017

Google translation of article published in La Nouvelle Union on March 15, 2017 (L’article original en français fait suite).

HIV-positive man sentenced for sexual encounters with women
Seven years of penitentiary for Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu

Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu was sentenced to seven years in a penitentiary by judge Bruno Langelier of the Court of Québec after a two-hour hearing on Wednesday afternoon at the Victoriaville Courthouse. The Judge endorsed the joint proposal put forward by the prosecution and the defense.

The man of Congolese origin, who will turn 56 at the end of the month, has admitted his guilt to nine counts of sexual assault and endangerment of lives of several women.
A stay of proceedings was ordered on five other counts.

The facts of which Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu was accused occurred between 2009 and 2015 in several places: Victoriaville, Drummondville, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Saguenay, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and Saint-Appolinaire

The fifty-year-old met most of the victims on a dating site and a few others in bars.

Although he knew he was HIV positive, he had unprotected sex many times with women from whom he hid his medical condition. On certain occasions, claimedAnn Marie Prince, the criminal and penal prosecutor, he lied about his condition.

Additionally, three of the complainants, were infected. “One of the complainants can be shown to have been infected by the accused. For the other two, it can not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is very likely that these women were infected by him, “said the representative of the prosecution .

Observations regarding sentencing

Me Ann Marie Prince of the prosecution initially stated that it all started with the denunciation to the police from a plaintiff from Victoriaville who discovered that Muntu had a spouse.

The latter informed her of the seropositivity of the man who was denounced. The investigation began and several victims came forward.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office heard one of the victims present, a testimony that was banned from publication.

In defense, Jean-Riel Naud mentioned the history of his client, a Congolese who fled his country where his father was killed by the regime in place.

“Arriving in Canada in 89 or 90, he is a permanent resident but has not been granted citizenship, so that after his sentence he is at great risk of deportation to his country where his security is compromised,” Indicated Mr. Naud.

Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu, the father of four children by two different women, reportedly acted negligently and recklessly, according to his lawyer. “It was not for revenge, wickedness or bad faith. Having almost no symptoms, he never really understood his illness. He did not think it was so bad, that he could contaminate someone. In addition, he was unaware of the law and was unaware that he could be charged, “said Naud.

Since his arrest, Jean-Claude Tshibamba Munti has regain control of his life, according to his lawyer. “He has participated in all medical follow-ups, has always respected his conditions of release, as well as the instructions from the Public Health,” said the lawyer, adding that his client had personally lost everything.

“He has lost all his properties, his employment, his friends. He lives on welfare. His children no longer speak to him. Since his arrest, he is completely isolated. He experienced intimidation, insults and tried to end his days in the spring of 2016. Today, he is a little better, but his morale is very low, “said the prosecutor.

Tshibamba Muntu did not want to speak. “But he apologizes and regrets. If he does not speak, it is because the situation is beyond him. He is stunned by what he lives, “the lawyer said.

Langelier J. then took a few moments to read extracts from the victims’ statements, stating the serious consequences, their distress.

Common Proposal

Ann Marie Prince of the prosecution presented the joint proposal of seven years in a penitentiary, after mentioning, in this matter, a range of punishment that could range from one year to 11 years imprisonment.

The Prosecution representative raised the many aggravating factors: the number of victims, the frequency of unprotected relationships, the accused’s carelessness, his lies about his state of health, and the “disastrous consequences” for the victims . “We are talking about post-traumatic shock, depression, attempted suicide, stress, feelings of guilt and mistrust of men. Their lives have shifted, changed completely, “said Prince.

As a mitigating factor, she accepted the guilty plea, thus avoiding a preliminary inquiry and a lengthy trial. “The plea is welcomed with relief by the complainants, who will not have to testify about intimate details,” said Prince, adding that the individual had a very low history of crime, with only a history of impaired driving and assumption of person.

Mr. Naud, for the defense, also described the proposal as reasonable, and stated that seven years in penitentiary still constituted a substantial penalty for an individual with virtually no antecedents and who was at risk of deportation.

He also mentioned the guilty plea avoiding a trial “long, complex and painful for all”, as well as the behaviour of his client since his release.

Ms. Naud also provided the magistrate with documents from organisations advocating for the decriminalisation of HIV, except in certain cases.

Court Decision

From the outset, Justice Bruno Langelier indicated his intention to endorse the proposal which he considered reasonable.

Regarding the fact that we may no longer be dying of HIV today, the magistrate believes however that society may banalise the disease. “We do not talk about it anymore. We may have lowered our guard, we become careless, negligent. Perhaps they no longer die, but what about the stigma and the quality of life of people who still live with the fear of seeing the disease regain vigour. People live with this stress, this upheaval, “said the President of the Tribunal.

Honoring the excellent work of the lawyers, Langelier judge therefore condemned the man to seven years of penitentiary. “The punishment certainly does not bring healing to the victims, but maybe they will feel that the gentleman has acted wrongly and was not honest with them. And as the Supreme Court says, no punishment will repair the wrongs caused, “the judge concluded while also ordering taking a DNA sample.

In addition, Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu will have his name registered for life on the National Sex Offender Registry.

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Le porteur du VIH condamné pour des relations avec des femmes

Sept ans de pénitencier pour Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu

Au terme d’une audience de plus de deux heures, mercredi après-midi, au palais de justice de Victoriaville, le Drummondvillois Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu a été condamné à sept ans de pénitencier par le juge Bruno Langelier de la Cour du Québec qui a ainsi entériné la suggestion commune proposée par la poursuite et la défense.

 L’homme d’origine congolaise, qui aura 56 ans à la fin du mois, a reconnu sa culpabilité à neuf chefs d’accusation d’agression sexuelle et d’avoir mis en danger la vie d’autant de femmes.

Un arrêt des procédures a été décrété sur cinq autres chefs d’accusation.

Les faits reprochés à Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu sont survenus entre  2009 et 2015 en plusieurs endroits : Victoriaville, Drummondville, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Saguenay, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré et Saint-Appolinaire

Le quinquagénaire a rencontré la plupart des victimes sur un site de rencontres et quelques autres dans des bars.

Même s’il se savait porteur du VIH, il a eu de nombreux rapports sexuels non protégés avec des femmes à qui il cachait sa condition médicale. À certaines occasions, comme l’a fait valoir le procureure aux poursuites criminelles et pénales, Me Ann Marie Prince, il a menti sur sa condition.

Trois des plaignantes, par ailleurs, ont été infectées. «Pour l’une des plaignantes, on peut démontrer qu’elle a été infectée par l’accusé. Pour les deux autres, on ne peut le prouver hors de tout doute raisonnable, mais il est fort probable que ces femmes ont été infectées par lui», a fait valoir la représentante du ministère public.

Observations sur la peine

Me Ann Marie Prince de la poursuite a d’abord indiqué que tout avait commencé par la dénonciation à la police d’une plaignante de Victoriaville ayant découvert que Muntu avait une conjointe.

Cette dernière lui a appris la séropositivité de l’homme qui a été dénoncé. L’enquête s’est mise en branle et plusieurs victimes se sont manifestées.

La procureure du ministère public a fait entendre l’une des victimes présentes, un témoignage frappé d’un interdit de publication.

En défense, Me Jean-Riel Naud a fait mention de l’historique de son client, un Congolais qui a fui son pays où son père a été tué par le régime en place.

«Arrivé au Canada en 89 ou 90, il possède un statut de résident permanent, mais n’a pas obtenu sa citoyenneté, de sorte qu’après sa peine, il risque grandement une déportation vers son pays où sa sécurité est compromise», a indiqué Me Naud.

Père de quatre enfants de deux femmes différentes, Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu aurait agi, selon l’avocat, par négligence et insouciance. «Ce n’était pas par vengeance, méchanceté ou mauvaise foi. N’éprouvant pratiquement pas de symptômes, il n’a jamais vraiment réalisé sa maladie. Il ne croyait pas que c’était si grave, qu’il pouvait contaminer quelqu’un. De plus, il n’avait pas connaissance de la loi et ignorait qu’il pouvait être accusé», a fait valoir Me Naud.

Depuis son arrestation, Jean-Claude Tshibamba Munti s’est repris en main, selon son avocat. «Il a participé à tous les suivis médicaux, a toujours respecté ses conditions de remise en liberté, de même que les consignes de la Santé publique», a confié l’avocat, ajoutant que son client, côté personnel, avait tout perdu.

«Il a perdu tous ses biens, son emploi, ses amis. Il vit de l’aide sociale. Ses enfants ne lui parlent plus. Depuis son arrestation, il est complètement isolé. Il a vécu de l’intimidation, des insultes et a tenté de mettre fin à ses jours au printemps 2016. Aujourd’hui, il va un peu mieux, mais son moral est très faible», a souligné le procureur.

Tshibamba Muntu n’a pas tenu à prendre la parole. «Mais il s’excuse et regrette. S’il ne s’exprime pas, c’est que le situation le dépasse. Il est assommé par ce qu’il vit», a exprimé l’avocat.

Le juge Langelier, ensuite, a pris quelques instants pour lire des extraits des déclarations des victimes, faisant état des conséquences graves, de leur détresse.

Suggestion commune

Me Prince de la poursuite a présenté la suggestion commune de sept de pénitencier, après avoir évoqué, en la matière, une fourchette de peine allant d’un an à 11 ans d’emprisonnement.

La représentante de la poursuite a soulevé le nombreux facteurs aggravants, le nombre de victimes, la fréquence des relations non protégées, l’insouciance de l’accusé, ses mensonges sur son état de santé, sans compter «les conséquences désastreuses» sur les victimes. «On parle de choc post-traumatique, de dépression, de tentative de suicide, de stress, du sentiment de culpabilité et de la méfiance envers les hommes. Leur vie a basculé, a changé du tout au tout», a soutenu Me Prince.

Comme facteurs atténuants, elle a retenu le plaidoyer de culpabilité qui évite ainsi une enquête préliminaire et un long procès. «Un plaidoyer accueilli avec soulagement par les plaignantes qui n’auront pas à témoigner de détails intimes», a signalé Me Prince, ajoutant aussi que l’individu était très peu criminalité, ne possédant que des antécédents de conduite avec les capacités affaiblies et de supposition de personne.

Me Naud, en défense, qualifie aussi la suggestion de raisonnable, que sept ans de pénitencier représentaient tout de même une peine importante pour un individu pratiquement sans antécédent et qui risque une déportation.

Il a aussi fait valoir le plaidoyer de culpabilité évitant un procès «long, complexe et pénible pour tous», de même que le comportement de son client depuis sa remise en liberté.

Me Naud a aussi remis au magistrat des documents émanant d’organisations qui militent pour la décriminalisation du VIH, sauf pour certains cas.

Décision de la Cour

Dès le départ, le juge Bruno Langelier a fait savoir son intention d’entériner la suggestion qu’il juge raisonnable.

Au fait qu’on ne meurt peut-être plus du VIH aujourd’hui, le magistrat estime cependant que la société banalise peut-être la maladie. «On n’en parle plus. On a peut-être baissé la garde, on devient insouciant, négligent. On n’en meurt peut-être plus, mais que dire des stigmates et de la qualité de vie des personnes qui vivent toujours avec la hantise de voir la maladie reprendre de la vigueur. Les gens vivent avec ce stress, ce bouleversement», a exprimé le président du Tribunal.

Saluant l’excellent travail des avocats, le juge Langelier a donc condamné l’homme à sept ans de pénitencier. «La peine n’apporte certainement pas la guérison chez les victimes, mais peut-être auront-elles le sentiment que Monsieur a mal agi et qu’il n’a pas été honnête avec elles. Et comme le dit la Cour suprême, aucune peine ne réparera les torts causés», a conclu le juge tout en ordonnant aussi le prélèvement d’ADN.

De plus, Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu verra son nom inscrit à perpétuité au registre national des délinquants sexuels.

 

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Article published in La Nouvelle Union on 3rd September 2016 (L’article original en français fait suite).

Muntu Tshibamba case: the parties negotiate

The accused was absent, but the case of Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu, from Drummondville , returned to the Court of Quebec on Friday morning in Victoriaville courthouse where his lawyer, Jean-Riel Naud, advised the judge Jacques Lacoursière that he was negotiating with the prosecution.

“We presented a settlement offer to the prosecution. Then Me Prince (Ann Marie)recently submitted a counter-offer. All that to say, finally, that negotiations are underway, “stated Mr. Naud.

The case has been postponed until 28 November for a final decision.

Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu, 55, faces multiple charges for having sexually assaulting the complainants and put their lives in danger.

While knowing he was HIV positive, the accused had sexual relations with several women. Thirteen alleged victims came forward, according to the prosecution.

The charges against the man from Drummondville occurred between February 2012 and August 2015 in several municipalities, notably in Victoriaville, Drummondville, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières and Longueuil.

The police arrested the accused on Sept. 17, 2015 in his apartment in Drummondville.

Article en  français: 

Affaire Tshibamba Muntu : les parties négocient

JUSTICE. L’accusé était absent, mais le dossier du Drummondvillois Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu, revenait devant la Cour du Québec, vendredi matin, au palais de justice de Victoriaville où son avocat, Me Jean-Riel Naud, a fait savoir au juge Jacques Lacoursière qu’il négociait avec le ministère public.

«Nous avons proposé à la poursuite une offre de règlement. Puis Me Prince (Ann Marie) m’a récemment soumis une contre-offre. Tout ça pour dire, finalement, que des négociations sont en cours», a exposé Me Naud.

Le dossier a ainsi été remis au 28 novembre pour une prise de position finale.

Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu, 55 ans, fait face à de multiples accusations pour avoir, en agressant sexuellement les plaignantes, mis leur vie en danger.

Tout en se sachant atteint du VIH, l’accusé aurait eu des relations sexuelles avec plusieurs femmes. Treize présumées victimes se sont manifestées, selon le ministère public.

Les faits reprochés au Drummondvillois se seraient produits entre février 2012 et août 2015 dans plusieurs municipalités, notamment à Victoriaville, Drummondville, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivière et Longueuil.

Les policiers ont procédé à l’arrestation de l’accusé le 17 septembre 2015 dans son appartement de Drummondville.

Original report from La Nouvelle Union on 16 April 2016

English version (article en français fait suite).

The Case of Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu from Drummondville, who is alleged to have had sex with several women while knowing he was HIV positive, was back in the Court of Quebec on Friday morning in Victoriaville.

Represented by his lawyer Jean-Riel Naud, the accused was absent. Before the case was postponed to the 10th June, the representative of the Crown, Me Ann Marie Prince, made some changes to some of the charges since an error had been made in writing.

The correction ensures that the wording is the same in all cases, namely serious sexual assault that put the life of the complainant in danger.

The man in his fifties had sexual relationships with 13 alleged victims without worrying about the possibility of HIV transmission.

The offenses were said to be committed by the accused between February 2012 and August 2015 in Victoriaville, Drummondville, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivieres and Longueuil.

Article en  français

Le dossier du Drummondvillois Jean-Claude Tshibamba Muntu, qui aurait eu des relations sexuelles avec plusieurs femmes tout en se sachant atteint du VIH, revenait devant la Cour du Québec, vendredi matin, à Victoriaville.

Représenté par son avocat Me Jean-Riel Naud, l’accusé était absent. Avant que le dossier ne soit reporté au 10 juin, la représentante du ministère public, Me Ann Marie Prince, a fait apporter des modifications à certains chefs d’accusation puisqu’une erreur s’était glissée dans la rédaction.

La correction fait en sorte que le libellé est le même dans tous les cas, à savoir agression sexuelle grave ayant mis la vie de la plaignante en danger.Le quinquagénaire aurait eu des relations sexuelles avec 13 victimes présumées sans se soucier de la possibilité de leur transmettre le VIH.Les faits reprochés à l’accusé se seraient produits entre février 2012 et août 2015 notamment à Victoriaville, Drummondville, Sherbrooke, Trois-Rivières et Longueuil.Original article published in La Nouvelle Union

[Update] US: Indiana man facing multiple charges for alleged HIV transmission sentenced to 24 years for battery by bodily waste after plea agreeement

Benford gets 20 years in prison for HIV–battery, robbery Takes plea for HIV–battery, robbery; other charges dropped
March 14, 2017

Benford gets 20 years in prison for HIV-battery, robbery

Takes plea for HIV-battery, robbery; other charges dropped

Terre Haute man accused of knowingly spreading HIV has been ordered to serve 20 years in prison on a 30-year sentence in a plea agreement that resolved five pending criminal cases.

Isiah Benford, 32, appeared Tuesday in Vigo Superior Court 6 for sentencing in two separate cases. One involved charges of robbery, while the other involved battery by bodily waste.

The plea agreement dropped several criminal counts related to the HIV case.

 A woman who said she contracted HIV from Benford called him a “cold-hearted monster” as she gave a victim impact statement to the court.

The woman said she was a friend of Benford, but then became intimate with him.

“What I thought was a wonderful daydream turned into a nightmare,” the woman said.

She was diagnosed with HIV in 2011, she said, and Benford denied being the source of the virus when questioned. The woman said she was not in favor of the plea agreement, but accepted it to settle the case for the other six victims.

Benford was arrested and charged in 2015 after investigators said he had sex with people while aware he was a carrier of HIV.

“He has no remorse for what he has done,” the woman told Judge Michael Lewis during the sentencing hearing. “My family is hurt and angry, and my children are lost. My two youngest get bullied because of me having HIV. I feel my life is over, and not by my choice but by his.”

Benford sat silently during the hearing, and he was led from the court without making comment.

He has already served 889 days in jail that will be credited toward his sentence.

The charges in the HIV case had involved seven victims and included a total of 27 criminal counts, including aggravated battery, battery by bodily waste, failure of carrier’s duty to warn and battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Lewis last year ordered  Benford would be tried separately for each victim, meaning seven trials, with the first one to have started in February.

The sentence of 30 years was composed of a six-year sentence for a 2014 robbery and a 24-year sentence for battery by bodily waste in the HIV case that alleged he failed to warn others of his HIV status. Lewis ordered the sentences to be served consecutively.

Lewis ordered Benford to serve 20 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, while the remaining 10 years can be served on formal probation. If Benford completes the Purposeful Incarceration program, he could petition the court for a sentence modification.

Lewis told Benford the man still has the responsibility to warn others that he is a carrier of HIV.

The plea agreement dismissed unrelated domestic violence, theft and intimidation cases pending against Benford.

Published in the Tribune Star on March 14, 2017

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Benford plea deal calls for 14 years in prison

A Terre Haute man accused of knowingly spreading HIV has agreed to a  plea deal that would resolve his five pending criminal cases.

Isiah Benford, 32, was to go on trial Monday in Vigo Superior Court 6 on charges of robbery and battery. The trial was scratched Monday morning before jury selection began.

Judge Michael Lewis set a March 16 hearing for acceptance or rejection.

The agreement signed by Benford, defense attorney Mark Mullican, and deputy prosecuting attorney Sabrina Haney calls for a 6-year sentence for a 2014 robbery, and a 24-year sentence for battery by bodily waste in the case that alleges he failed to warn others of his HIV status.

The plea deals states that 14 years shall be served in the Indiana Department of Correction, while the remaining 10 years can be served on formal probation. If Benford completes the Purposeful Incarceration program, he could petition the court for a sentence modification.

Benford will also receive credit for time already served while awaiting trial. The credit will be determined during the March 14 hearing.

Benford was arrested and charged in 2015 with 16 criminal counts alleging he had sex with people while aware he was a potential carrier of HIV, which can lead to AIDS.

Those charges were later amended to include seven alleged victims and a total of 27 criminal counts, including aggravated battery, battery by bodily waste, failure of carrier’s duty to warn and battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

A trial in the HIV-related case was postponed last year. Judge Lewis agreed to a defense request to split the case into seven trials to handle the facts involving each victim separately, rather than overwhelming a single jury with a complicated case.

The 2014 robbery case involved a co-defendant who is also a victim in the HIV-related case. The other three cases against Benford, which will be dismissed, are a March 2013 domestic battery, a February 2013 theft and a 2016 intimidation case.

Following Monday’s court hearing, Benford was returned to Vigo County Jail to await the March hearing.

Published on February 7, 2914 in The Tribune Star

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Pool of 150 jurors to be considered in trial of Vigo Co. man accused of knowingly spreading HIV

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – A high profile trial is set to begin in Vigo County on August 15th.

Isiah Benford stands accused of knowingly spreading HIV for more than a decade. Benford faces 27-criminal counts ranging from aggravated battery to failure to warn his partners of his positive status, which is called “duty to warn.”

The charges are based on accusations from seven different women who claim Benford gave them HIV, one has developed AIDS.

Benford is scheduled to go to trial on Aug. 15th for the five charges alleged by “Partner D.”

According to court documents, a pool of 150 potential jurors will be considered. Fifty will report for duty at 9 o’clock on the morning of Monday Aug. 15th. Another fifty will report later that same afternoon. If a jury is not seated, the last fifty will be called on Aug. 16th.

Benford will face separate trials for each alleged victim.

Published on August 1, 2016 in WTHITV

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