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[Update] Australia: Transgender woman sentenced to six years in male prison for alleged HIV transmission

Trans woman CJ Palmer sentenced to six years in a male prison
February 16, 2018

Trans woman CJ Palmer sentenced to six years in a male prison

Perth woman CJ Palmer has been sentenced to serve six years, with a non-parole period of four years, after being found guilty of committing Grievous Bodily Harm for transmitting HIV.

Palmer will be returned to a male prison, despite being a transgender woman. Palmer has to date served 321 days in custody in a male prison, which will be counted towards her final sentence.

Presiding Judge Stevenson told the court he considered Ms Palmer’s crime to be at the “upper end of the range of seriousness,” and neglectful of her responsibility as a sex worker.

Prior to the final decision, Palmer’s defence raised concerns that her needs were not being met in the male-specific facilities, including hormone therapy and appropriate clothing.

Judge Stevenson added that he expected that the prison will receive a copy of the hearing’s transcript and ensure her needs are met. Palmer will also be kept isolated from other inmates in crisis care.

Ahead of today’s decision, a number of advocacy groups had expressed their wariness over the treatment of Palmer as a trans woman. Others were concerned about the criminialisation of HIV, and the potential of legal proceedings increasing stigma and discrimination in society for those living with HIV.

“The criminalisation of people living with HIV is a blunt, ineffective tool in the war to end HIV. It only serves to drive people who need to be tested and treated further into the dark and creates a cultural fear,” The Institute of Many’s co-founder Nic Holas told OUTinPerth.

“In this particular instance, as with so many cases, an overwhelming majority of cases of HIV criminalisation, we have two people here who are victims and those people are victims of the ongoing stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV.”

“I think this is an absolute miscarriage of justice for a six year sentence, I think it’s completely excessive, and I along with many people in the community have deep, grave concerns for CJ’s health and wellbeing – especially since she’s been denied her hormone treatments.”

“We welcome the indication from Judge Stevenson that this extremely heavy sentence is basically on the condition that she will keep receiving her hormone treatments. That is the only silver lining on what is a very dark day for every single person living with HIV in this country, as well as the transgender and sex worker communities.”

Holas said that politicians need to act to ensure changes to these laws.

“We need an overhaul of criminalisation of HIV in every state and territory in this country, including here in Western Australia,” Nic Holas said.

“We really need much better prosecutorial guidelines for transgender individuals. It’s shocking that CJ is in a men’s facility and has been condemned to six years of potential complete solitary confinement.”

Published in Out in Perth on February 16, 2018

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Transgender prostitute found guilty of passing on HIV after Perth trial

A TRANSGENDER prostitute accused of causing grievous bodily harm to a former client by passing on the HIV virus to him through unprotected sex has been found guilty by a jury.

Clayton James Palmer, who identifies as a woman and supplied sex services via online ads under the pseudonym of Sienna Fox, has been on trial in WA’s District Court this week, charged with assaulting the unnamed victim by having unprotected sex him multiple times until late July 2015.

Prosecutors claimed that at the time, Ms Palmer already knew she was HIV positive, having been told months earlier by nurse Joanne Morgan that there was a positive indication of HIV in her blood.

Ms Morgan was also said to have taken five pages of notes about the consultation, in which she gave Ms Palmer other information about what she should do next, including her disclosure obligations.

Prosector Ben Stanwix told the court that the “only plausible source of the infection” was Ms Palmer, who is now known by her initials CJ, pointing to genetic evidence which showed that they shared an extremely rare strain of the HIV virus.

“Having unprotected sex was such a grave departure from the duty of care she owed him, she was criminally negligent,” Mr Stanwix said.

Ms Stanwix said Ms Palmer “didn’t want to face reality” after she was told of her infection by the nurse, who he said in 2014 was “consistent, organised and meticulous”.

But defence barrister Simon Freitag said it was nurse Morgan who was struggling with reality, pointing to her intravenous methamphetamine use, mental health problems and subsequent multiple psychiatric hospitalisations after a breakdown in 2015.

For those reasons, he said, it was in no way certain she had informed Ms Palmer of her HIV status at the crucial time.

“(Ms Morgan’s” breakdown) is said to be the equivalent of a lightning strike. It was more like a flood … and there is a lot of rain that falls before the dam breaks,” Mr Freitag said.

Ms Palmer had maintained before a jury she was never told of her HIV positive status by the nurse, and had no idea she was carrying the virus as she carried on her sex work under the same name for another year.

She also said she may not have been the one to give her former client the virus, as the man had a high sex drive, and was in other sexual relationships, including with another transgender woman.

Giving evidence, Ms Palmer told the court: “I was not given a diagnosis in September 2014. I did not ignore it. I was not told.”

This morning, after nearly four hours deliberation, the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict, which was greeted with tears from Ms Palmer and her supporters.

Ms Palmer was refused bail by Judge Christopher Stephenson, who said in his opinion the offence was so serious that she needed to be remanded in custody ahead of a sentencing date in February.

Mr Freitag said that Ms Palmer would have to be remanded in a male prison, as she was when she was kept in custody for more than nine months following her arrest in 2016.

Judge Stephenson accepted that would make time in custody for more difficult for the 40 year-old Ms Palmer, but said her conduct had not only put the life of the victim at risk at the time, but had also put the wider community at risk of further infection.

 Published in PerthNow on Jan 19, 2018

Transgender sex worker ‘not told of HIV diagnosis’

A TRANSGENDER sex worker who allegedly infected a client with HIV did not want to face reality after her test results came back positive and continued working as a prostitute, a court has been told.

Clayton James Palmer, who identifies as a woman and worked under the name Sienna Fox, is accused of repeatedly having unprotected sex with a man in 2015 despite knowing she had tested positive to HIV.

Ms Palmer, who is on trial in the District Court charged with causing grievous bodily harm, says the diagnosis was not communicated to her and she may not have been the person who passed on the virus to the alleged victim.

A nurse from the WA Substance Users Association, Joanne Morgan, tested Ms Palmer for blood-borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections in August 2014.

Prosecutor Ben Stanwix said Ms Morgan told Ms Palmer her initial test was positive for HIV during a home visit and gave her information about the virus and her disclosure obligations.

He said Ms Morgan’s notes from the visit indicate Ms Palmer asked her if she was going to die, if she would have to take medication forever and where she got the virus from.

Mr Stanwix said Ms Palmer told Ms Morgan she would not be able to make her next appointment then stopped answering her phone calls and text messages.

“Ms Palmer, it seems, didn’t want to face reality,” he said.

“Despite what Ms Palmer had been told by Ms Morgan, she continued to advertise her sexual services online.”

Ms Palmer met the complainant, whose name is suppressed, in November 2014 and had sex with him a number of times until about August 2015.

Mr Stanwix said the client asked Ms Palmer several times if she had been tested for sexually transmitted infections and she assured him she was tested regularly and did not have any.

The man started to feel ill in September 2015 and was diagnosed with HIV shortly after he went to hospital.

Mr Stanwix said Ms Palmer and the alleged victim had the same “relatively rare” subtype of the virus.

“The accused was in charge of something dangerous, specifically bodily fluids that were infected with HIV,” Mr Stanwix said.

“The accused’s failure to take reasonable care and precaution was, we say, negligence so grave as to justify criminal conviction.”

Defence lawyer Simon Freitag told the jury there were different versions of the conversation between Ms Palmer and the nurse and said his client could not be found guilty if she was not aware she had HIV.

He said there were issues with the “chaotic” WASUA and Ms Morgan had her own personal issues when she was working for the organisation.

“It is not the case that Ms Morgan is the stereotypical image of a nurse that you might expect,” he said.

Mr Freitag told the jury they might have reason to question the alleged victim’s claim that he had sex with Ms Palmer and no one else between meeting her and being diagnosed with HIV.

He said scientists and doctors could not say how the virus was transmitted to the complainant.

Both Mr Stanwix and Mr Freitag urged the jury to decide the case on the evidence and put aside any views they might have about drugs, sex, prostitutes or transgender people.

“You are going to hear some words that you would not normally hear in polite company,” Mr Freitag said.

“Whether you are a sex worker, a lawyer, an accountant, whatever, if you drive trucks for a living, in this court you have the same rights.

“Treat Ms Palmer in the same way you would treat her if you heard she was an accountant.”

The trial continues.

Published in PerthNow on Jan 15, 2018

Greece: Athens Court recognises that undetectable = untransmissable and acquits man with undetectable viral load

2nd Joint Court of Athens adopts the message that a non–detectable viral load renders HIV transmission unlikely
February 16, 2018

2nd Joint Court of Athens adopts the message that a non-detectable viral load renders HIV transmission unlikely 

A historic decision was issued unanimously by the 2nd Joint Court of Athens, explicitly adopting for the first time the message of the scientific community which states that a person living with HIV and who has undetectable virus load is untransmittable.

More specifically, after the completion of the hearing process on 10.11.2017, the Court acquitted an accused who was sued by a partner, with whom he maintained an occasional sexual relationship, on the grounds of him trying to transmit to her the HIV virus through an alleged unprotected sexual encounter. Additionally, the Court recognized as a non-incriminating element the decision of the accused not to reveal his seropositivity to his occasional sexual partner, considering that it was critical for his acquittal or guilt to be the fact that he took the necessary precautions and treatment, so that a third person is not at risk of having sex with him.

Given that the accused received stable treatment and during the indicative time his viral load was steadily below the detectable limit (<20 copies/ml), while in any case according to scientific studies, when a person living with HIV receives treatment, the transmission of the virus decreases by 96%, the Court held that the objective and subjective nature of the accusation for attempted repeated serious intended bodily injury was not met at all, as well as the accusation for attempted repeated serious intended bodily injury with possible deception.

This persecution, exercised in August 2012, has come to the wider extent –without evidence and becoming catastrophic for the public health- criminalization of HIV, whenever the target of the then political leadership was found to be accused of the same offense a significant number of people using psychoactive substances, as well as trans people, which were eventually acquitted by the judicial bodies.

The case was taken over by the Centre for Life, offering free legal support at the beneficiary throughout the whole judicial procedure. As an Organization who fights for the rights of people living with HIV so to the healthy and danger less sexual life, as to reproduction, we salute with great joy the first Greek court recognition of the message expressed through scientific research, that the undetectable virus load makes the transmission of the virus unlikely. At the same time, however, we draw the attention to the responsible bodies for the non-functioning of the reagents for a period of time that exceeds 1 ½ year, which, apart from the other very serious problems that this may entail in terms of health, leads to the loss of the most important evidence in criminal trials against people living with HIV and leaves open the possibility of increasing incidences of blackmail against HIV positive people.

Published on Centre of Life website on February 16, 2018

US: Kentucky bill making it a felony to expose police officers to bodily fluids goes to full House for consideration after being approved by House Comittee

Bill Would Make it Felony to Intentionally Expose Law Enforcement to Bodily Fluids
February 16, 2018

KENTUCKY (2/15/18) — A bill that would make it a felony to intentionally expose a law enforcement officer to bodily fluids or bodily waste was approved yesterday by the House Judiciary Committee.

Kentucky jailers and some other officials are protected against someone intentionally causing them to come into contact with bodily fluids and waste, but that “there’s a gap in the law that doesn’t protect our police officers,” said Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington, the sponsor of House Bill 193.

The legislation would carry stiffer penalties if the bodily fluids or waste carry—or could carry—a communicable disease, including hepatitis C virus or HIV. Both crimes would be considered felony assault under the proposal.

Fraternal Order of Police Bluegrass Lodge # 4 President Jason Rothermund told the committee creating a crime for intentionally forcing bodily fluids or waste onto a police or other law enforcement officer, with the increased penalty for communicable disease, will help prosecution of such acts. Current statutes for disorderly conduct and wanton endangerment are not adequate for prosecution, he said.

“We don’t want them (the officers) to have to go find some obscure charge,” said Rothermund, but instead want behavior specifically addressed in law.

Lee said he would be willing to consider floor amendments that would ratchet down some of the bill’s penalties to misdemeanors after some lawmakers, including Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, expressed concern with the felony provisions.

Nemes, who has a brother who is a peace officer, said he believes more protection is needed but that he believes the penalties proposed in HB 193 are too harsh.

Rep. McKenzie Cantrell, D-Louisville, had concerns that the scope of the bill is wider than it needs to be.

“Because there’s not a definition of what a communicable disease is and there’s no nexus between the exposure to the fluids and actual transmission of the disease, I’m going to have to vote no today,” she said.

Among those voting for the bill was Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, who said the risk of transmitting communicable disease through bodily fluids and waste is real and carries consequences.

“Clearly there should be a consequence to putting that officer in harm’s way and making that officer go through a battery of testing and unknown situations with their spouse, etc.,” he said.

HB 193 now goes to the full House for consideration.

Published in SurfKY News on February 15, 2018

 

Canada: Calgary man charged with aggravated sexual assault for alleged HIV non-disclosure

Calgary man pleads guilty to aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing HIV
February 15, 2018

Calgary man pleads guilty to aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing HIV

A Calgary man has pleaded guilty to six counts of aggravated sexual assault.

The case involves six women and in each case, John McNamara failed to tell them he was HIV positive.

According to an agreed statement of facts, McNamara would meet women on dating websites then have unprotected sex — never telling the women he had the virus.

“This is a situation where individuals are consenting adults involved in sexual acts and there is simply a non-disclosure aspect to that sexual contact,” McNamara’s defence lawyer Shamsher Kothari said.

McNamara, 45, was diagnosed with HIV in November of 2000.

All of the sexual assaults happened between 2012 and 2013. They occurred throughout southern and central Alberta.

In one case, the victim found out McNamara was HIV positive when she found a pill bottle — the label showed it was prescribed to treat HIV.

The agreed statement of facts states the woman had previously asked McNamara if he had any sexually transmitted infections or medical history she should know about.

Police in both Calgary and Lethbridge issued warnings about McNamara. As a result of those warnings, other women came forward alleging he failed to disclose his history prior to having sex with them.

There were also warnings posted on several dating websites — one person wrote “McNamara is a danger.”

His lawyer says the guilty pleas are a sign of remorse.

Defence acknowledged McNamara’s actions caused extreme stress for the victims.

Court documents show McNamara’s viral load at the time of these sexual encounters would have been very high and he would have been quite infectious, putting the victims at “significant risk of HIV transmission.”

The women had to undergo rigorous testing over the course of six months.

“None of the individuals that were dealt with in court ever transmitted or received or were diagnosed with any kind of HIV. None of these individuals got HIV from any of the contact,” Kothari said.

Defence acknowledged McNamara’s actions caused extreme stress for the victims. The women had to undergo rigorous testing over the course of six months.

Their identities are protected by a court-imposed publication ban.

McNamara remains in custody. He’s been in remand for nearly two years.

He will now be sent for a psychiatric assessment.

A sentencing date will be set on March 2.

Published in Global News on February 14, 2018

[Update]Canada: Nova Scotia Appeal Court overturns convictions of man living with HIV, stating that consent is not diminished by HIV non-disclosure

Appeal Court overturns HIV–positive man’s convictions
February 15, 2018

Appeal Court overturns HIV-positive man’s convictions

An Antigonish man who was found guilty of sexual assault causing bodily harm for failing to disclose he was HIV-positive to two women he had sex with has had his convictions quashed and replaced by acquittals.

A Nova Scotia Court of Appeal panel acquitted Claude Allan Thompson last September but released its written decision Thursday.

“The sole issue in this case is whether psychological harm said to have been caused by non-disclosure of HIV status (spoils) consent to sexual activity,” Justice Duncan Beveridge wrote for the panel.

“The short answer is no, it does not.”

Thompson, 45, stood trial in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on two charges of aggravated sexual assault.

The court heard that in December 2011, Thompson had unprotected sex with one of the complainants and wore a condom during intercourse with the other. He claimed he did not ejaculate either time.

Experts testified that the risk of transmission was negligible because Thompson was taking antiviral drugs and had a low viral load.

Justice Suzanne Hood found the Crown had not established a realistic possibility of HIV transmission and acquitted Thompson on both charges.

But the judge accepted the Crown’s submission that the complainants had suffered psychological harm from the uncertainly of not knowing whether the virus had been transmitted. Based on that, she found Thompson guilty of the lesser offences of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Thompson, a former boxer, appealed the convictions shortly after he was sentenced in 2016 to 30 months in prison, and an appeal hearing was scheduled for last October.

But about a month before the appeal hearing, the Crown conceded that the trial judge had erred in convicting Thompson. The appropriate remedy, the Crown said, was to quash the convictions and enter acquittals.

The three-judge Appeal Court panel was satisfied that the Crown’s concession was correct and immediately entered the acquittals.

The appeal hearing went ahead as scheduled so the parties, which included HIV and AIDS groups as intervenors, could make submissions on the scope of the court’s decision.

“Failure by a sexual partner to disclose that he or she has a sexually transmitted disease is morally reprehensible, but it is not usually a crime,” Beveridge wrote in the decision.

The Appeal Court said the trial judge was “led astray” by Crown counsel, who argued that the emotional turmoil suffered by the complainants could amount to bodily harm and thereby spoil their consent to the sexual activity.

“Emotional stress or upset, even if they could legitimately amount to bodily harm within the meaning of the Criminal Code, are, in the eyes of the law, irrelevant,” Beveridge said.

“This is clear from the careful approach by the (Supreme Court of Canada) to avoid overbreadth and stigmatization of HIV-positive individuals.”

Beveridge said worry, stress and anger are natural emotions upon learning of unwittingly being exposed to HIV.

“But absent a significant risk of serious bodily harm, satisfied by actual transmission or a realistic possibility of transmission, consent is not vitiated,” he said.

Published in The Chronicle Herald on February 15, 2018

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Groups intervene over sexual assault convictions

Human rights organizations are intervening in an appeal by an HIV-positive man convicted of two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

Ryan Peck, executive director of HIV & Aids Legal Clinic Ontario, and Richard Elliott, executive director of the Canadian HIV/Aids Legal Network, say their organizations are intervening in an upcoming Nova Scotia Court of Appeal case.

In December 2011, Claude Allan Thompson had sex with two women who consented to sex with him but later said they were unaware he was HIV-positive, which led to criminal charges against Thompson for two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

In 2016, in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Thompson was acquitted of those charges. However, he was convicted of two counts of sexual assault causing bodily harm.

“This is relevant to the entire country because I think that it’s very possible that Crown prosecutors in Ontario could take the same approach,” says Peck.

“Currently, aggravated sexual assault is the charge being used even when the risk of HIV transmission is effectively zero.”

Justice Suzanne Hood said that while Thompson had raised a reasonable doubt about the “realistic possibility” of transmitting HIV to the two complainants, he caused psychological harm to both.

“Fraud can vitiate consent. . . . The dishonest act, failure to disclose, has been established. The second requirement is deprivation; in this case that there was bodily harm,” said the ruling, in R. v. Thompson 2016 NSSC 134.

The 2016 ruling noted that in the Criminal Code the definition of bodily harm includes “psychological harm” and that both complainants experienced anxiety or stress and went for HIV testing after finding out Thompson was HIV-positive.

“I conclude this is not harm of a trifling nature because of the seriousness of HIV as a disease. Nor was the harm of a transient nature. The psychological worry of whether [one complainant] had contracted HIV continued until she had the results of the testing. This satisfies the requirement of deprivation,” said the ruling.

“[The second complainant] testified she had one year of testing for HIV. She said it was stressful and she had a fear of the unknown, that is whether she had contracted HIV. She too suffered psychological harm within the meaning of bodily harm,” added the ruling later.

Legal organizations say Thompson’s convictions are based on legal errors that “encourage the further, discriminatory over-extension of the criminal law and reinforce misinformation and stigma regarding HIV and people living with HIV,” according to a factum filed for the appeal.

“Put most simply, if there was no ‘realistic possibility’ of HIV transmission, there was no legal duty on the Appellant to disclose his HIV-positive status. There was therefore no ‘fraud’ vitiating the complainant’s consent to the sexual encounter and thus no assault of which to be convicted,” said the interveners’ factum.

The interveners argue the judge erred in convicting Thompson of any sexual assault offence because there was no realistic possibility of HIV transmission.

“[The judge] based this conviction solely on the fact that the two complainants testified that they had experienced stress and anxiety about the possibility of contracting the virus after learning that the Appellant was HIV-positive at the time of their single sexual encounters,” says the factum filed by the interveners.

In the 2012 ruling in R. v. Mabior, the Supreme Court of Canada found a person could be found guilty of aggravated sexual assault if the person “fails to disclose [they are] HIV-positive before intercourse and there is a realistic possibility that HIV will be transmitted.”

“If the HIV-positive person has a low viral count as a result of treatment and there is condom protection, the threshold of a realistic possibility of transmission is not met, on the evidence before us,” said the SCC ruling.

In R. v. Thompson 2016 NSSC 134, Hood found Thompson used a condom in the sexual encounter with one complainant.

The judge ruled a condom was not used in the sexual encounter with the second complainant, but there was reasonable doubt if Thompson ejaculated and if the encounter occurred after he had restarted anti-retroviral therapy.

The ruling also states there is “not a realistic possibility of transmission if [the] viral load is less than 1500” and “condom usage by a person with HIV precludes a realistic possibility of transmission of HIV.”

Elliott says that, in Thompson, there’s a “fundamental error of law in the case where you’ve got a sexual assault conviction, even though it was found as a fact that there was no realistic possibility of transmission.”

He says if the ruling stands it represents a “broadening of the scope of HIV criminalization and criminal law, which is already very problematically broad.

“It really introduces not only a terrible additional element of over-breadth in the law, because it basically allows people’s fears and anxieties, whether well founded on any rational assessment of the possible risk or not, to drive potential criminal liability of someone,” he says.

“It also introduces obviously a huge degree of uncertainty in the law, because your potential criminal liability, even if you didn’t pose a realistic possibility of transmitting HIV, would depend entirely upon how your sexual partner might react down the road if they were to learn you were HIV-positive.”

Kyle Kirkup, an assistant professor with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and a practising lawyer, says there’s a tension that’s emerged in society between treating HIV non-disclosure as a criminal law issue versus a public health issue.

“I know a lot of HIV-positive people feel very anxious when they’re in a sexual relationship with someone. The concern is always what kind of evidence would they have if someone goes forward to the police and says, ‘This person didn’t disclose status to me,’” he says.

Late last year, the Divisional Court ordered Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General to release a set of draft guidelines around prosecuting HIV non-disclosure cases, after the Information and Privacy Commissioner sided with Toronto lawyer Marcus McCann, who filed a Freedom of Information request.

“We require sound prosecutorial guidance to be produced by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General to ensure that Crown prosecutors handling HIV non-disclosure allegations are conducted in a manner that is truly in line with current up-to-date science as well as human rights principles,” says Peck.

A spokeswoman for Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General says “prosecutions involving exposure to HIV are complex and engage a number of legal and scientific issues.

“In these cases, prosecutors in Ontario follow the direction of the Supreme Court of Canada as set out in R. v. Mabior. MAG-Criminal Law Division has a group of experienced prosecutors who provide advice on HIV exposure cases,” said Emilie Smith in an email statement.

“The evolving common law approach set out by the Supreme Court in R. v. Mabior allows for developments in science to be considered.”

A spokesman for the federal department of justice said last December that the minister of Justice announced her plans to work with provinces and territories on examining “the criminal justice system’s response to non-disclosure of HIV status.

“That work, which involves a broad review of the criminal law, the role of public health, the applicable medical science and current charging and prosecutorial practices, is underway,” said the spokesman.

Published in Law Times News on Sep 12, 2017

Belgium: 25-year-old man sentenced to 5 years in jail for alleged HIV transmission

Verviers: Jonathan D. condamné pour avoir volontairement inoculé le VIH à deux mineures
February 11, 2018

Verviers: Jonathan D. condemned for voluntarily transmitting HIV to two minors (Google translation – Scroll down for original article in French)

On Friday the Verviers Criminal Court sentenced Jonathan D., a 25-year-old man, to a five-year prison sentence for transmitting the AIDS virus to two minors after having unprotected sex. His immediate arrest was ordered.

The court has emphasized the seriousness of the facts, the physical and psychological consequences for the victims as well as the endangerment of others, having knowingly transmitted the AIDS virus to two minors aged 16, as the defendant knew that he was infected since birth and was not seeking to treat himself and protect himself.

Borderline, antisocial and egocentric personality.

The court also identified a borderline, antisocial and egocentric personality as well as an absence of regret and awareness inficating a significant risk of recidivism. The defendant thus had three victims, two of whom now bear the virus as a result of unprotected sex with the two teenage girls he had seduced. One of them did not find out until six months into the relationship. As for the second, it took two years before she felt the first symptoms. The symptoms remain significant: permanent fatigue, school absences, not to mention the psychological effects such as anorexia, suicidal tendencies, as well as a certain social isolation and fears for the future.

A third victim was not infected by the virus

A third victim was able to escape infection although she also had intimate relationship with the young man. She suffered none the less until she was fully freed from her anxieties by discovering her negative diagnosis. The defendant, who was not present at the hearing and during the sentencing, is now subject to immediate arrest.

Published in RTL. info on February 9, 2018

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Verviers: Jonathan D. condamné pour avoir volontairement inoculé le VIH à deux mineures

Le tribunal correctionnel de Verviers a condamné par défaut vendredi Jonathan D. (Devillet), un jeune homme de 25 ans radié d’office, à une peine de 5 ans de prison ferme pour avoir inoculé à deux mineures le virus du sida suite à des relations sexuelles non protégées. Son arrestation immédiate a été ordonnée.

Le tribunal a stigmatisé la gravité des faits, les conséquences tant physiques que psychologiques pour les victimes ainsi que de la mise en danger d’autrui, deux mineures de 16 ans ayant sciemment été inoculées du virus du sida, le prévenu s’en sachant porteur depuis la naissance et ne cherchant pas à se soigner et à se protéger.

Personnalité borderline, antisociale et égocentrique

Le tribunal a aussi relevé une personnalité borderline, antisociale et égocentrique ainsi que l’absence de regret et de prise de conscience confirmant un risque important de récidive. Le prévenu a ainsi fait trois victimes, dont deux désormais porteuses du virus à la suite de relations sexuelles non protégées qu’il a entretenues avec les deux adolescentes qu’il avait séduites. L’une d’elle ne l’a appris que six mois après le début de la relation quant à la seconde, elle a mis deux ans avant d’en ressentir les premiers symptômes. Les symptômes demeurent conséquents : fatigue permanente, absences scolaires sans parler des séquelles psychologiques telles que l’anorexie, les tendances suicidaires sans parler d’un certain isolement social et des craintes pour l’avenir.

Une troisième victime n’a pas été infectée par le virus

Une troisième victime a, elle, pu en réchapper bien qu’elle ait également entretenu des relations intimes avec le jeune homme. Elle n’en a pas moins souffert jusqu’à être pleinement libérée de ses angoisses en découvrant le diagnostic négatif. Le prévenu, qui faisait défaut à l’audience et lors du prononcé, fait désormais l’objet d’une arrestation immédiate.

US: Ohio Prisoner living with HIV charged with felonious assault for engaging in sexual conduct

HIV positive prisoner charged after allegedly having sex with 2 inmates
February 6, 2018

An inmate at the Toledo Correction Institution has been indicted on felonious assault charges alleging he engaged in sexual conduct with two inmates last year and “did not disclose that he is HIV positive,” according to a list of indictments issued on Monday by the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

Lorenzo Lopez, 58, is alleged to have engaged in sexual conduct with the inmates between April and June 2017 at Warren Correctional Institution.

Lopez was scheduled for a parole hearing on March 21, according to state prison records. He is serving an 18-month prison term for assault in Pickaway County.

Published in Dayton Daily News on February 5, 2018

US: 26-year-old man jailed in Florida for “unlawful HIV transmission”

Police: Man infected partner with HIV
February 2, 2018
Police: Man infected partner with HIV
FORT WALTON BEACH — A man has been jailed on charges of unlawfully transmitting HIV, the virus that can cause AIDS. James Lydell Copeland, 26, of Fort Walton Beach was denied bond, according to the Fort Walton Beach Police Department.

The victim told police that she had had consensual intercourse with Copeland in November 2015. She learned she tested positive for the virus six months later.

She told officers that she had had no risky behavior or significant exposure in which she might have contracted it, the report said.

Copeland and his grandmother told police in 2012 that he was infected with HIV, the report said. During a search warrant, medical records were obtained that indicated that he had tested positive for HIV in August 2009.

When he was interviewed by police in January, Copeland said he had had consensual sex with the victim and confirmed it was in November 2015.

Published in Panama City News Herald on February 1st, 2018

US: Man sentenced to 3 years probation in Ohio for alleged HIV non-disclosure

Akron man sentenced to probation for not telling sexual partner he was HIV positive
February 2, 2018

Akron man sentenced to probation for not telling sexual partner he was HIV positive

KRON: An Akron man recently was sentenced to three years of probation for not telling a woman he had sex with that he is HIV-positive.

Stacey Lopez Barrow, 46, pleaded guilty to felonious assault, a second-degree felony. He faced up to eight years in prison.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison Breaux sentenced Barrow to probation, with several conditions, including that he provide a DNA sample, undergo mental health and substance abuse assessments, have no contact with the woman, and pay her $1,500 in restitution for her medical expenses, according to court records.

Prosecutors say Barrow had sex with a 47-year-old woman last April and only told her afterward that he is HIV positive.

Barrow was represented by attorney Donald Walker.

Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Feb 1sty, 2018

[Update]US: Ohio man found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 8 years in prison for alleged HIV non-disclosure

Man who infected woman with HIV sentenced to 8 years in prison
January 31, 2018

Man who infected woman with HIV sentenced to 8 years in prison

Ron J. Murdock first learned he was HIV-positive in 2004. On Wednesday, the Toledo man was sentenced to eight years in prison for failing to tell his late girlfriend of his status.

Kimberly Klempner, 51, died from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, last year.

“No one deserved to give my mother her death sentence. No one,” Joshua Klempner told the court in a statement read by his mother’s sister, Michele Dail. “The defendant did just that. A selfish act that could have been avoided if the defendant would have just spoke up and told the truth about the disease.”

Murdock, 52, of the 3200 block of Craigmoor Avenue had been indicted for murder but pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter. Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Stacy Cook found him guilty and immediately sentenced him to prison.

Murdock, who faced up to 11 years in prison, apologized to Ms. Klempner’s family.

“Me and Kim had a great friendship,” he said. “I took her everywhere. I was her transportation. … I apologize if I harmed her, did anything to her. I cared about Kim a whole lot.”

Judge Cook asked Murdock if he informed his wife that he was HIV-positive. He said that he had but admitted he did not tell Ms. Klempner.

The judge said Ms. Klempner’s death “was avoidable had disclosure been given. It would have been her choice then. If she chose to still engage in a relationship, it would have been done with full knowledge.”

Drew Wood, an assistant county prosecutor, told the court Murdock and Ms. Klempner had engaged in a sexual relationship between June 1, 2011, and Oct. 1, 2016. She learned she was HIV-positive in August, 2016, and died Feb. 5, 2017.

Before her death, Ms. Klempner told Toledo Police detective Diana Trevino that when she told Murdock about her test results, “The defendant did not seem to react in any significant way. She described it as the defendant acting as if she had told him that she had a cold,” Mr. Wood said.

Murdock is believed to be the first person prosecuted in Lucas County for murder under such circumstances.

Defense attorney James Popil pointed out that Ohio law is silent about all other sexually transmitted diseases.

“Ohio’s HIV laws automatically treat HIV-positive individuals like they are criminals,” he said. “It’s currently the only disease in Ohio that is treated like a weapon.”

Still, he pointed to a recent Ohio Supreme Court ruling in a related case that upheld the idea that an HIV-positive individual who infects a sexual partner without disclosing his or her status may be prosecuted.

Mr. Popil asked for a three-year sentence in part because Murdock did not have a serious criminal record and because the victim continued to engage in a relationship with Murdock even after she learned he had infected her.

He said Murdock intends to appeal.

Published in the Blade on January 31st 2018

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Man accused of HIV murder may have charges reduced

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) –

Prosecutors may have to file new charges against a man who is currently charged with murder, depending on Ohio’s Supreme Court’s ruling on the case.

Ronald Murdock was charged with murder after allegedly never telling Kimberly Klempner that he was HIV positive and passed the virus onto her.

Klempner contracted AIDS and died at the age of 51.

Since her death, Klempner’s son, Josh, fought to have Murdock charged with murder.

Attorneys for Murdock argue the charge violates their client’s First Amendment rights as well as the American Disabilities Act.

“Nothing that happens in this case will bring back his mom but that’s our focus getting justice for the victim in this case,” said Lucas County Prosecuting Attorney, Clint Wasserman. “So if we have to be methodical about it, we will because we want to make sure we’re doing it right.”

The ruling from the state’s Supreme Court is expected to come back any day. If the Supreme Court decides that Murdock’s case is unconstitutional, the prosecutors office will have to file new charges against Murdock.

The new charges may possibly be misdemeanors rather then felonies.

Published on September 19, 2017 on wtol 11

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Man charged with murder for allegedly infecting woman with HIV

TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) – A Toledo man is charged with murder for allegedly having sex with a woman and giving her HIV. Her son is angry and has a message everyone should hear.

“If you’re going to be in a relationship make sure you get checked period,” said Josh Klempner.

Toledo police charged Ronald Murdock with murder and felonious assault. The married man is accused of having unprotected sex without disclosing he was HIV positive to his girlfriend Kimberly Klempner. Her death certificate says she died in February of 2017 from AIDS.

“It would be different if he would let people know that he had it before he got in that relationship. He didn’t so that right there tells me and everybody else that he has no care.The only person he’s worried about is himself,” said Klempner.

According to a police report his victim told police she was in a relationship with Murdock for the last five years. She told investigators she learned she was HIV positive in 2015 and when she told Murdock he didn’t seem bothered by it.

“My mother found out about some pills he had. She stayed the night at his house one night and she felt something was up. She did some snooping and ran across a few pill bottles. She did a little research on them and found out that way,” said Klempner.

The police report also states Murdock’s wife discovered that Murdock and Klempner were having an affair and told Klempner that Murdock was HIV positive. He claimed that was a lie.

“He should of warned her. He should have told her. I don’t want him out here on the streets. The way I see it they should just bury him under the jail.”

According to Ohio law, you are required to tell your partner if you are HIV positive or have AIDS. If you don’t you can be charged with murder or felonious assault.

13abc went to Ronald Murdock’s home to get a comment, but nobody answered the door. He’ll face a judge on Tuesday.

Published in 13abc on June 13, 2017

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