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[Update]US: Probation sentence in Arkansas’ HIV criminalisation case after undetectable viral load is taken into consideration

Sanjay Johnson HIV Criminalization Case Closes With 5–Year Probation Sentence
February 22, 2019

Sanjay Johnson HIV Criminalization Case Closes With 5-Year Probation Sentence

February 22, 2019

Sanjay Johnson, who was charged with nondisclosure of his HIV status to a former sexual partner, was given a surprise sentence of five years probation and a $750 fine finalized in Little Rock, Arkansas on Feb. 19. Johnson was initially facing a felony conviction with the possibility of 10 to 12 years in prison and a requirement that he register as a sex offender upon his release. We last reported on Johnson’s story in September 2018.

“Honestly, I’m grateful, but I still have a burden with probation and its restrictions and financial obligations,” said Johnson about the sentence.

Johnson’s defense lawyer, Cheryl K. Maples, said that the case largely rested on the fact that Johnson was documented as having an undetectable viral load and could not have transmitted the virus to the accuser. The prosecutor finally was convinced in the second hearing.

“He finally heard me,” Maples said, speaking about Grayson Hinojosa, deputy prosecutor with Pulaski County, Arkansas. “He finally got that Sanjay could not have exposed this young man to HIV because he was undetectable.”

The statute that was employed in Johnson’s earlier no-contest plea is rarely used, according to Maples. It allows for people without any other criminal records to settle their case with a guilty or no-contest plea, accept at least one year’s probation and no more than a $3,500 fine. They will continue to have no further criminal record.

Interestingly, the law carves out a provision that bans defendants who have been charged with “exposing another person to the human immunodeficiency virus.” But with Johnson being virally suppressed, the exposure clause was moot.

Maples sees an opportunity to help others like Johnson. She is preparing a case for the United States District Court in Western Arkansas to challenge the HIV criminalization law that initially ensnared him. “I believe the law [that criminalizes people with HIV] is unconstitutional,” she said.

Change is spreading nationally, slowly but surely, due to heavy advocacy work by community advocates, state groups, and national organizations including the Center for HIV Law and Policy, Lambda Legal, Prevention Access Campaign, and SERO Project. While Arkansas still has specific laws criminalizing people living with HIV for nondisclosure, there are several states that have reformed their laws in the past few years, most recently California, Colorado, and North Carolina.

As for Johnson, he says that although he is happy about the final ruling, the case has taken a toll.

“I’m still looking for a better stable job,” he said. “I was terminated from my job at the hospital [where I was employed] for over three years. My work performance went down since I’ve been going through this ordeal, and it affected me mentally and led to my dismissal. I didn’t work for three months, but was applying and having interviews, and started working on Jan. 7.”

As for the future, Johnson said that despite the hardships, this experience has encouraged him to want to help others in similar scenarios.

“I would like be in a position where I could work while getting paid advocating and educating on HIV and criminalization, and maybe write a book about my experiences,” he said. “I still will continue to advance in my woodcarving and photography and other creative passions. I just want to be a genuine example to those who are like me that you can overcome adversity.”

Kenyon Farrow is the senior editor of TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

 


 

After Hook-Up and Friendship, Arkansas Men Pitted Against Each Other in HIV Criminalization Trial

The early interactions between Sanjay Johnson and Jamal “Doe” (a pseudonym) might sound familiar to many gay men across the United States. In separate interviews with TheBody, the Little Rock residents described how they exchanged messages on the hook-up app Jack’d in October 2015, then met at Johnson’s apartment for a one-night stand.

“He messaged me and was like, ‘Hey, what’s up, do you want to come over?'” said Doe, 21, who was an 18-year-old freshman studying sociology at the University of Central Arkansas in 2015. “After we had sex, we talked for a few moments, and then I left.”

Johnson was 22 years old at the time of the encounter and has similar memories. “There was no trying to vibe or anything, we just got to it. Once we were done, he left and that was it.”

The young men didn’t maintain contact after that night, but they reconnected about a year and a half later, at which time they learned each other’s names and a friendship developed.

“We started hanging out, not trying to pursue a relationship, not anything sexual, just genuinely hanging out,” Johnson, now 25, said. “We went out to a couple of movies together, maybe ate out once or twice, and he hung out over my house.”

Doe fondly recalled his growing bond with Johnson. “Sanjay was someone I considered a friend because we spent so much time together,” he said.

However, the next interaction between the two men is expected to be in a Pulaski County courtroom in early October, when Doe is scheduled to testify on behalf of the state of Arkansas as it attempts to send Johnson to jail for up to 30 years, a sentence equivalent to that for negligent homicide.

“That’s Not Me, I Wouldn’t Do That”

On Aug. 9, 2017, Johnson received a call from a Little Rock detective asking him to come in for questioning related to allegations that he had sex with someone without first disclosing that he was HIV positive. Alarmed and convinced he would be arrested if he went to the police station, Johnson reached out to Cheryl Maples, the mother of a friend and an attorney who has worked on LGBT issues in Arkansas, including challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The next morning, around the time Johnson would usually be getting ready for his job as an operator at a hospital appointment center, police arrived at his apartment with a warrant and took him into custody.

Doe was among the 314 new HIV diagnoses in Arkansas in 2016, the most recent year of available data. (Arkansas ranks 30th among states in HIV prevalence.) According to an Arkansas law enacted in 1989, “[a] person commits the offense of exposing another person to [HIV] if the person knows he or she has tested positive for [HIV] and exposes another person to [HIV] infection through … sexual penetration with another person without first having informed the other person of the presence of [HIV].” Johnson is one of about a dozen Little Rock residents to be charged under this HIV disclosure law within the last five years, and if found guilty of the Class A felony at his Oct. 4 trial, he faces between six and 30 years in prison.

“That was my first time ever being in the legal system,” Johnson recalled about the week he spent in the Pulaski County jail in August 2017. “When I got out, I experienced every emotion you could feel, good and bad: [I felt] fear; I try to make myself feel happy; [I was also] sad, very angry, depressed, you know, anxious, calm — basically I had no choice but to feel everything.

“The next day, my mug shot was plastered all over social media,” he said. “Of course, with the charges, with people not wanting to dig into the story to find out what’s going on, they just saw what was in front of them and left evil, nasty comments. They see the mug shot and what the charges are, and they automatically think that I’m just passing it around, and it makes me so angry, because y’all don’t know the situation or anything. Y’all just going based off what you see and don’t even know the details of this story. Thankfully, people who actually knew me, like family and friends, knew that’s not me; I wouldn’t do that.”

The initial meeting between Johnson and Doe was too brief and unremarkable for Johnson to remember the details three years later, and he is unsure whether the two discussed HIV status or safer sex prior to their encounter.

“Honestly, no, I do not [remember],” Johnson said. “That was three years ago, just a one-time hook-up. All those important details that are important when you’re having sex with someone, I don’t remember them.”

Still, Johnson is convinced he did not pass the virus to Doe, and court records show that within a week of their encounter, Johnson’s viral load was undetectable. As part of an emerging scientific consensus about how HIV is spread, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed last fall that HIV-positive individuals who “maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.”

“Sanjay Johnson could not have passed on and exposed anyone to this virus due to his medical condition; therefore, he cannot be guilty of this particular statute,” said Maples, Johnson’s attorney. “Sanjay deserves his fair day in court, but there’s a law the state of Arkansas has, and he may never get it.”

Arkansas is one of 34 states that have specific criminal laws on HIV-disclosure, and there is growing advocacy to have these laws — some of which criminalize the spit and urine of HIV-positive individuals, despite neither of these bodily fluids being a carrier for the disease — repealed or amended to catch up to modern science.

“They’re really the norm rather than the exception,” said Kate Boulton, a staff attorney at the Center for HIV Law and Policy, a national group that tracks legal developments and advocates for reforming of HIV criminal laws. “Many of the states passed these laws in the early days of the epidemic and have not really revisited them since,” she said.

While advocates have helped amend these laws in states such as CaliforniaIowaColorado, and North Carolina, neither Arkansas legislators nor the legal arena seems receptive to arguments that the laws are unscientific. Prosecutors have argued in legal pleadings that Johnson and other HIV-positive individuals remain “a public health threat,” and claimed the CDC has “walked back” its assertion that being undetectable equals being untransmittable.

“The CDC warned that ‘these data can’t statistically rule out the possibility that the true risk is not zero,'” Michael Cantrell, assistant solicitor general in the Arkansas attorney general’s office, wrote in response to a motion to dismiss filed by Maples. However, the same CDC statement Cantrell cited notes: “The statement … reflects the fact that there have been no linked infections observed in studies among thousands of sexually active HIV-discordant couples engaging in female-male and male-male sex without a condom or [pre-exposure prophylaxis] while the HIV-positive person is virally suppressed.”

The prosecutors’ strategy and language, specifically labeling Johnson a “public health threat,” have Johnson supporters worried as he readies for a jury trial.

“That kind of characterization is unfounded and needs to be addressed,” said Cornelius Mabin, who has known Johnson for about a decade and started a fundraising effort for Johnson’s legal defense. “The way he was being characterized and the way this is being framed, to me, it ignored medical facts about the current realities of HIV transmission and care.”

Mabin is also the founder and CEO of the non-profit Arkansas RAPPS, and based on his longtime work in HIV/AIDS advocacy, he fears the average juror’s understanding of the disease is as outdated as the state’s disclosure law.

“[The average juror is] certainly not able to discern undetectable and/or virally suppressed, probably not knowing what those terms are and never hearing those terms,” Mabin said. “Also, just the general stigma, homophobia, and fear that continue to exist. Even when I’m out lecturing or doing workshops, I continue to hear so much misinformation, especially from people who I would think would have more aptitude, and I would think would be more learned about it — and that would include some clinicians.”

During a June hearing on Maples’s motion to dismiss, Nathaniel Smith, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Arkansas Department of Public Health and Sanjay Johnson’s personal physician, testified that Johnson was undetectable during his sexual encounter with Doe, and he offered the mounting evidence that someone who is undetectable cannot pass the virus along to others. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson was unconvinced.

“The state really did not put on any evidence at all at that hearing, and we had real solid testimony,” Maples said. “The prosecutors got the words out of the mouth of the doctor that even though there’s no cases showing you can catch it from someone who is undetectable, there is this teeny-tiny possibility, and the judge grabbed that and said there’s a possibility, and ruled against us.”

“I Was Basically Dying”

Despite the plethora of scientific knowledge on the issue, the notion that there remains a miniscule possibility of someone who is undetectable passing the disease on to others is considered significant enough for Johnson’s accuser to pursue charges against Johnson.

“Here’s the thing with being undetectable: It lowers the chance to transmit the disease; it doesn’t just put it at zero,” Doe said. “I even talked to my doctor about it, and they’re like, it’s not a definite that you’re not going to transmit it to someone else.”

Whereas Johnson does not remember the details of any conversation they had prior to their hook-up, Doe said he specifically asked Johnson whether he had any sexually transmitted diseases before they had sex.

“I asked him, ‘Hey, do you have anything?’ — the usual question that you would ask somebody — or if he had a condom,” Doe said. “What Sanjay told me is that he didn’t use condoms. I didn’t really think too much that it was a possibility that he had something, but kind of taking his word for it, which probably was not the best thing to do.”

A month after his encounter with Johnson, Doe was back at school when he began to get ill. “A lot of my friends noticed I was losing a lot of weight,” Doe said. “I started having night sweats; I started having joint pain in my right knee; I wasn’t eating; I would lose my breath quick, and my heart would start pounding.”

At the urging of his parents, Doe went to his school’s health clinic and learned he was HIV positive. “It was alarming since I never knew too much about HIV, and the first thought was, ‘I am going to die soon,'” he said. “What was the point of living anymore since I had HIV? What are people going to think about me now that I have this? Of course, I would have to tell people in my future relationships that I have this disease, and what if I’m not accepted or what if I’m going to be alone?”

Doe was forced to medically withdraw from school, struggled with depression, and believes he was weeks away from death before getting on treatment.

“My CD4 was so low that they actually considered me to have AIDS until my viral load went down and my CD4 went up,” Doe said.

While not commenting on the specifics of this case, Smith with the Arkansas Department of Public Health told TheBody in an emailed statement, “It would be very unusual for someone to progress to AIDS after just one month of HIV infection.” He added: “Sometimes the CD4 count will dip down shortly after infection and then come back up. If a CD4 count was done during that dip, it might be less than 200 and meet the case definition for AIDS.”

This, together with the fact that Johnson was undetectable just a week before their encounter, gives Johnson’s defense lawyer reason to question whether Johnson could have possibly been the person from whom Doe contracted HIV.

Doe believes he endured unnecessary suffering because someone did not disclose his HIV-positive status. “It was really, really bad, and I was basically dying,” Doe said. “I had mono on top of a [urinary tract infection], and it was awful. If you’re not given a choice or a chance, or at least are told, ‘Hey, I have X, Y, and Z, are you still interested?’ or ‘This is what we need to do to so you can protect yourself.’ If you’re just going to give everybody HIV, people are going to die and people are going to get sick. Not a lot of people show symptoms as fast as I did.”

Once Doe started medication and his health recovered, he reinstalled Jack’d and received a message from Johnson. Doe said he continued to accept Johnson’s initial denial of having HIV, so it didn’t occur to him that Johnson could have been the person who infected him.

“I rarely had unprotected sex with people, and I would ask them,” said Doe, who added that he had sex without a condom with only one person other than Johnson. “When I found out I had HIV, I was told that I needed to go to the health department and disclose to them who I had sex with, or who I had unprotected sex with. So I was like, it’s one of these two people, which one is it? But Sanjay was, he was the one where he came back, and we had contact.”

When asked in a deposition for the name of the second individual that he had condomless sex with, Doe answered: “I have no idea. It was the same situation off of Jack’d. Before I even knew who Sanjay was [by reconnecting with him], I didn’t even really know his name or anything.”

About a month into their friendship, Doe said he again asked Johnson whether he was HIV positive, and at that time, Johnson admitted he was and had been undetectable during their sexual encounter.

“He asked me if I was mad, and I told him, no; I just told him that I was hurt,” Doe said. “If you knew that you had something, it would have helped a lot if you just told me. You didn’t have to lie to me. I’m not the type of person that would judge somebody based off their status; I would just make sure there was precaution taken. So, I didn’t really get my chance. It’s like my choice was taken from me.”

A few days after their conversation, Doe visited a Little Rock police department to file a complaint against Johnson, and a few days later, detectives interviewed Doe.

“Since he told me he doesn’t usually use a condom, and he failed to disclose to me, I was just like, I don’t want this to happen to somebody else,” Doe said. “The only reason I went to the police [was] not to put Sanjay in jail or to make sure that, ‘You need to pay for what you did to me.’ No. I just don’t want him to do it to someone else.”

Doe wasn’t aware of the results of his conversations with police “until I was at work one day and people were talking about it, and I didn’t know who they were talking about until I saw [Johnson’s] picture.”

“There Has to Be Some Other Option”

Doe believes Johnson’s lack of disclosure denied him the choice of protecting himself, but Johnson and many advocates believe the HIV disclosure law makes HIV-positive individuals criminally liable for other people’s behavior.

“I believe the responsibility shouldn’t be put all on me as the person who is positive,” Johnson said. “For one, I’m not in control of another person’s body; I’m not in charge of you or make you lay down with me. Anyone has the right to decline. Whether you’re positive or not, man or woman, gay or straight or transgender, white or black, you have the right to ask to protect yourself.”

In addition to seeking to exonerate Johnson, Maples said she hopes to abolish the state’s HIV disclosure law, which would likely require a U.S. Supreme Court ruling given the conservative makeup of the Arkansas Supreme Court.

“The statute itself is unconstitutional,” Maples said. “It’s the only law in Arkansas that punishes someone for having a medical condition. The language is understandable for the time that the statute was enacted, but that’s no longer the status, and the laws have not kept up with medical science, and it desperately needs to be changed.”

Doe is opposed to eliminating HIV disclosure laws, but he believes they should be amended to include nuanced “criteria” related to intent and evidence.

“If they’re going to have laws that put people in jail for not disclosing, there should be some type of criteria for that,” Doe said. “I think it should be based off more than just somebody’s word; there has to be factual evidence to put somebody in jail for transmitting the disease.”

When discussing what justice would look like at the Oct. 4 trial, Doe’s voice was weighted with uncertainty.

“Even with the prosecuting attorney, they would ask me a bunch of questions, and I would just tell them that I don’t hate Sanjay; I don’t dislike him; I just wish he would have gave me my choice,” Doe said. “A lot of the time, whenever somebody is exposed to HIV, it’s seen as the person that is transmitting is trying to be spiteful. Since I had that friendship with Sanjay, and I actually got to know him, I don’t believe that he is a spiteful person. Of course, the [prosecutors] are going to have what they believe is right. Honestly, I would be satisfied if there were a way just to make sure this didn’t happen to somebody else. I’m not the type of person that is spiteful or that wants to see somebody’s life completely ruined.”

While he didn’t express regret about contacting police, Doe has detached himself from the litigation beyond being subpoenaed as a witness for the prosecution, and it’s clear he feels the situation is out of his hands.

“The case is not my case,” Doe said. “It is, you know, the state against him — it’s not me.” He added: “Whenever somebody is going to court, and it’s the state against him, my opinion as far as everything goes doesn’t matter too much. There has to be something else than giving him 30 years. There has to be some other option. I understand that he made a mistake as far as not disclosing and not doing what he’s supposed to do, but I do believe there should be another option.”

Born in the mid-’90s, Johnson and Doe are both part of the first generation of gay men to come of age after the advent of effective medications for HIV/AIDS, which transformed the disease from a death sentence that created a sense of urgency to a chronic illness that most of society no longer discusses. The type of encounter they had takes place hundreds of times per day on Jack’d and other hook-up apps, and Mabin worries that many of the Little Rock residents he serves are oblivious to how a one-night stand could lead to more than a quarter century in prison.

“After this happened to Sanjay, I went on a heightened [outreach effort], where I did workshops with HIV providers in the area,” Mabin said. “After each workshop that I did, I determined that most of the participants in those classes — who are living with HIV — had no clue about this law, and did not know how it could impact them, and that alarmed me.”

Ryan Lee is a writer based in Atlanta and a columnist for the Georgia Voice newspaper, which focuses on LGBT issues in the South.

US: Man living with HIV diagnosed as being in “altered mental state” charged for biting a police officer in emergency room in Chicago

HIV–positive man bit police officer, court records allege
February 21, 2019

Published in NWI.com on February 20, 2019

HIV-positive man bit police officer, court records allege

CROWN POINT — An HIV-positive East Chicago man bit a police officer’s wrist and broke skin in December as the officer and emergency room staff attempted to restrain the man, court records allege.

TXl, 33, arrived at the emergency room at St. Catherine Hospital about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 21 with a relative, who told police he was combative with her and “acting weird,” Lake Criminal Court records say.

Two emergency room nurses tried to help X from the vehicle to a wheelchair, but he became angry and started kicking at them and pulling away, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The nurses eventually got X into the wheelchair and brought him into the emergency room, where they laid him on a hospital bed.

He again became angry and began kicking hospital employees and throwing punches, records say. 

An off-duty East Chicago police officer working security at the hospital attempted to help the nurses as they strapped X to the bed. X kicked his feet, swung his arms and turned his head to one side, biting the officer’s wrist, records say.

The officer used “minimal force” to get X to release his wrist, the affidavit says. A nurse told the officer to quickly rinse his wrist with soap and water, because X was HIV positive.

The bite caused swelling, redness, bruising and breaking of the skin, the affidavit says. 

The officer was subsequently treated by a doctor for the bite wound.

X’s diagnosis that day was an altered mental state with a fever, records say.

X was charged Tuesday with felony battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety official and battery against a public safety official. A warrant was issued for his arrest.

US: Indiana considers bill modernising laws related to HIV to reflect current science

HIV Modernization Legislation Considered By Lawmakers
February 18, 2019

HIV Modernization Legislation Considered By Lawmakers

bill to modernize Indiana laws related to HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, was heard by lawmakers Wednesday. The proposal would update laws to reflect current science and medicine.

Indiana laws related to the transmission of HIV were written in the ’90s. Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany), who authored the bill, says a lot has changed since then.

“When I was in high school HIV was a death sentence and it’s not today, thankfully,” says Clere. “Today it’s a chronic condition.”

IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI Associate Professor Dr. Carrie Foote leads Indiana’s HIV Modernization movement. She has lived with the virus for 30 years.

“Thanks to the advances in modern medicine, I am here with a very successful career and my husband and teenage son do not have HIV,” says Foote.

The bill removes stigmatized legal language, changes penalties and updates duty to warn laws. Dr. Bree Weaver, HIV expert at Indiana University’s School of Medicine, says people don’t get tested for fear of prosecution.

“Outdated and stigmatizing laws are negatively affecting our ability to bring people with HIV into care and thereby bring the HIV epidemic to an end,” says Weaver.

HIV modernization legislation can encourage testing, reduce stigma and eliminate barriers to effective treatment.

Amendments will be made to the bill before a committee vote.

Singapore: Former police officer stands trial for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with sex-workers without disclosing his status

Ex–police officer convicted of having sex with prostitutes without informing them of HIV status
February 18, 2019

Published in Today online on February 13, 2019

Ex-police officer convicted of having sex with prostitutes without informing them of HIV status

SINGAPORE — A former police officer with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) rented a condominium unit in Geylang in January 2017 for S$1,700 a month, intending for his partner to live there.

But she disappeared.

Wanting to rent the unit out, the man, then aged 50, advertised it for S$80 a day on a chat group on messaging application WeChat. The group’s participants were mainly sex workers.

One worker, then aged 31, contacted him on June 19, 2017 and they met the next day.

She told him she had to use the unit as she had been arrested for vice activities earlier that year, and had been issued a special pass by the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to assist with investigations. She needed to earn money to support herself and for her family in China.

The man sought her sexual services and duped her into believing he was a police officer when he was really a security guard. He did not tell her he has HIV-positive and she agreed because she did not wish to get into more trouble with the law.

On Wednesday (Feb 13), the man pleaded guilty to four charges — two under the Infectious Diseases Act, and two under the Women’s Charter for using the apartment as a brothel and living off the earnings of a prostitute.

Seven other similar charges will be taken into consideration for sentencing when he returns to court on April 5.

The man and his victims cannot be named due to a court order.

Court documents stated that the man suspected he had contracted HIV in 2003 but was diagnosed in May 2008 at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

The court heard that the first victim moved into the condominium unit on June 22, 2017, after paying the man S$800, which she had earned from providing sexual services at other spots in Geylang following her arrest.

He contacted her that day to again engage her for sex, but they had an argument when he suspected that she had allowed her partner to stay over at the unit.

Furious, he told her that it was a “work room, not a love nest”, and raised her rental fees to S$100 a day.

A day later, he ordered her to move out and threatened to call the police if she refused. He returned S$600 to her.

The man similarly leased the unit to two other Chinese nationals aged 33 and 39, and had sex with them without telling them about his HIV status. They used the apartment to provide sexual services in June and July 2017, after the first victim moved out.

Police officers from the Bedok Police Divisional Headquarters raided the unit and arrested one of the women on July 4.

The other woman was arrested on July 11 when Criminal Investigation Department officers ambushed the man’s workplace at a shopping mall and then raided the apartment again.

For engaging in sexual activity without informing the women of their risk of contracting HIV and obtaining their consent, the man could be fined up to S$50,000 and jailed up to 10 years for each charge.

For running a brothel at his rental unit, he could be jailed up to three years or fined up to S$3,000.

He could be jailed up to five years and fined up to S$10,000 for living off the earnings of a prostitute.

Brazil: Man living with HIV arrested for alleged HIV exposure

Man arrested accused of infecting women with HIV
February 18, 2019

Published in AM Post on February 15, 2019 – Google translation. For original article, scroll down.

Man arrested accused of infecting women with HIV

According to police, in 2012, The first man’s wife died after being contaminated by him.

Diego X, 34, was arrested on Thursday, in Baixada Fluminense. It was preventive detention by the Juvenile Court of domestic violence Piabetá, in Magé, under the suspicion of serious illness danger of contagion of crime and incurable disease. He has been HIV positive since 2008. He omitted telling six women with whom he has sexthat he had AIDS.

According to the police, in 2012, Diego’s first wife died after being infected by her husband. Facing questions from relatives of his partner about the disease, he falsified evidence and denied having HIV. According to the investigation of the 66th DP (Piabetá), after the death of the woman, Diego still lived with five women and omitted to inform all of them about the infection.

In August of last year, the boy’s last partner discovered the disease and asked for separation. Next, she went to the police and reported the case.

Thursday, the police managed to locate Diego, who already showed signs of the disease, in Duque de Caxias.

Suffering from tuberculosis and herpes, he was transferred to a hospital in the prison, by the order of the justice system.

Hombre arrestado acusado de infectar a las mujeres con VIH

Según la policía, en 2012, La primera esposa de hombre murió después de haber sido contaminados por ella.

Diego Cordero Pierre, de 34 años, Fue detenido el jueves, Baixada Fluminense. Era detención preventiva por el Juzgado de Menores de la violencia doméstica Piabetá, en Magé, bajo la sospecha de enfermedad grave peligro de contagio de la delincuencia y la enfermedad incurable. Dado que el VIH positivo 2008, Omitió que tenía SIDA por seis mujeres con las que mantiene relaciones sexuales.

Según la policía, en 2012, La primera esposa de Diego murió después de haber sido contaminada por su marido. Pregunta de familiares de su pareja acerca de la enfermedad, falsificó pruebas y negó tener VIH. De acuerdo con la investigación de la 66ª DP (Piabetá), después de la muerte de la mujer, Diego todavía vivía con cinco mujeres y omite la enfermedad de todos ellos.

En agosto del año pasado, la última compañera del chico descubrió la enfermedad y pidió la separación. En seguida, a la policía y reportó el caso.

jueves, policías lograron localizar Diego, que ya mostraba signos de la enfermedad, en Duque de Caxias.

Com tuberculose e herpes, fue trasladado a un hospital de la prisión, mediante la determinación de Justicia.

St Vincent and the Grenadines: Following deportation of man jailed in Canada for alleged HIV transmission, prosecution service confirms existence of similar provision in SVG law

Persons who wilfully pass on HIV infection can be charged – Prosecutor
February 18, 2019

Source: Searchlight – Published on February 12, 2019

Persons who willfully pass on HIV infection can be charged – Prosecutor

HIV-positive persons in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) who wilfully pass on an HIV infection to another person can be charged with grievous bodily harm with intent under the laws of this country.

Crown Counsel at the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Karim Nelson made this clear to SEARCHLIGHT on Monday.

Nelson was responding to a question raised by a report that X, a 41-year-old man who was jailed in Canada after he knowingly passed on HIV to his lovers, had been deported to SVG, the land of his birth.

X arrived in SVG last Thursday February 7. He is originally from the East St George area and goes by the alias “Shorty”.

The Crown Counsel told SEARCHLIGHT there have been instances, in England particularly, where persons have been charged with grievously bodily harm with intent for doing what Ralph did.

“We have the same provision and we could apply that particular provision to deal with the situation,” the lawyer explained, while noting that this has never been done in SVG.

He explained that for a charge to be laid, a report will have to be made and the police must have evidence that the person who passed HIV to the other person actually knew that they had the health issue.

“The information can come from a third party because persons might know. For example, if there are persons whom this person confided in and say well ‘I have this disease’, that could be sufficient evidence to say this person knew they had this disease and they still went ahead and had unprotected sexual intercourse with another person.

“That to me will establish the person had intent to cause the grievous bodily harm,” Crown Counsel Nelson explained.

He however noted that without that third-party declaration, obtaining personal medical documents to use as evidence could present some difficulty.

“You can’t just move on the individual. There must be some sort of evidence that he committed a crime and in the absence of a person reporting the matter, you cannot be aware that a crime was actually committed,” the prosecutor added.

Meanwhile X’s crimes are generating discussion on local airwaves and on social media.

According to an article published on Monday March 10, 2014 in the Toronto Sun, X concealed his HIV-positive status from four sex partners and was found guilty of several crimes, including forcibly confining and assaulting his last victim.

The article noted that Justice Nancy Spies found X, 37 at the time, guilty of committing aggravated sexual assault by endangering the life of his last victim, between November 1, 2010 and New Year’s Day 2011 when he assaulted and held her captive for a few hours at his north Toronto home.

The Sun reported, “When police arrested X, a small-time pot dealer who lives on government assistance or disability, he admitted his HIV-positive status. When officers broke the grim news to the woman, she was so upset she became violently ill. Her worst fears were confirmed when she tested positive for HIV.

“Besides the last victim, X was also guilty of aggravated sexual assault against another woman between March 1, 2008 and August 5, 2010. This victim, like Xs last victim, also tested positive for HIV.”

In court, X denied hiding he was HIV positive, and claimed the two women consented to having unprotected sex with him while knowing of his condition. His version was rejected.

The Vincentian national also pleaded guilty to endangering two other women’s lives in 2009 and from January 1, 2003 to January 1, 2005. He admitted he had sex without revealing his condition to them. They tested negative for HIV.

X knew of his HIV status since May 2003 and despite repeated warnings by public health officials to disclose his condition to sex partners, he did not.

The SUN said when X was arrested in January2011, police issued a public alert and Toronto public health authorities found the two other victims.

[Update] US: Despite current guidelines, State Attorney pushes for prison sentence for Pensacola Man charged with alleged HIV transmission and non-disclosure

Pensacola man who knowingly spread HIV should go to prison, prosecutors argue
February 18, 2019

Published in Pensacola News Journal on February 18, 2019

Pensacola man who knowingly spread HIV should go to prison, prosecutors argue

Prosecutors are convening a jury to determine if a Pensacola man deserves prison time for knowingly spreading HIV.

On Monday, RX, 26, entered a plea of no contest to three counts of communicating HIV to another, according to a press release from the State Attorney’s Office. Each of those counts are third-degree felonies punishable by up to five years incarceration.

However, under the current sentencing guidelines — which calculate an offender’s recommended sentence based on the seriousness of their crime, their criminal history and other factors — X does not score sufficient points to warrant a prison sentence.

Still, Florida law allows for X to be sentenced to prison under one specific condition: if a jury finds that not sentencing him to prison would pose a danger to the public. 

The state believes that is the case, and at a sentencing hearing April 8, prosecutors will be presenting evidence to a jury and asking them to find that it is appropriate to sentence X to prison.

X’s arresting documents from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office claim X had unprotected sex with two women during a period from September 2016 to October 2017. One of the women reportedly saw X with HIV medication, but the woman told authorities he falsely told her that he was just selling the medicine for his uncle.

The woman was later diagnosed with HIV, and she told investigators about the second woman, X’s then girlfriend. That woman said she had been dating X since August 2017 and said X never told her that he had HIV.

The investigation and arrest were conducted by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorneys Monica Daniels and Diane Stefani prosecuted the case. Court records indicate X is being represented by Assistant Public Defender Alice Harris.


 

Published in weartv on November 3, 2018

HIV arrest: Pensacola man accused of knowingly transmitting virus is heading to court

A Pensacola man, accused of not sharing his HIV-positive status is heading to court.

RX, who was previously being held at the Florida State Hospital, is back behind bars in Escambia County.

On November 14, he will face a judge for a competency hearing.

X was arrested in November 2017, after Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille says three different women accused him of failing to disclose his HIV-positive diagnosis before having sex with them.

Reports state all three women allegedly contracted the virus from X.

“It is a crime in the state of Florida to engage in sexual activity without first advising your partner and that person consenting to that sexual contact,” said Marcille.

Marcille says prosecuting cases like this one comes with challenges.

“We actually have to prove that they are aware that they have the illness,” said Marcille. “and secondly, that by engaging in sex with another individual, they could infect the other, their partner.”

There is still no cure for HIV, but Dr. John Lanza with the Florida Department of Health says treatment has come a long way.

“HIV used to be a death sentence,” said Lanza. “You’re going to be on medications your whole life, but you’re going to live to 70, 80, 90, whatever…”

According to Florida statute, most sexually transmitted disease charges are misdemeanors, but an HIV charge is a felony. With recent medical advancements, some argue the law needs to catch up.

“No one goes around accusing someone of giving them a cold, and filing charges against them,” said Kamaria Laffrey.

Laffrey is with the Sero Project, a group working to modernize the law in regard to prosecuting those with the virus – including non-disclosure cases like X’s.

“This is a nationwide, actually a global issue of people being criminalized for a health diagnosis,” said Laffrey.

Laffrey says it is everyone’s responsibility to know their status, and believes there should not be a law mandating people disclose their HIV diagnosis.

“It’s unjust, it’s outdated and it further perpetuates the stigma,” said Laffrey.

Cases like X’s do not come around often says Marcille. He has seen less than ten in the past 20 years.

“They do come to our office on an occasional basis, but it is a very unusual type charge for us to receive,” said Marcille.

If found guilty, X faces up to 15 years in prison.

———————————————————————

Published in Weartv.com on November 22nd 2017

ESCO Report: Man with HIV infects several women

Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man for having sex with at least three women and not informing them he was HIV positive.

The incidents happened between September 2016 and October 2017 in Escambia County and Pensacola per the warrant.

The first woman stated she tested positive twice for HIV in May and June of 2017. She told authorities RX “never warned her he was HIV positive”.

The woman stated she had seen X with HIV medication in January or February of this year but he denied having HIV.

Last month, authorities interviewed a second woman who stated she had healthy twins by him. She stated she had a sexually relationship with X in October 2016 and it ended sometime in April or May of this year.

She also reported seeing X with HIV medication but she claims he said it ‘belonged to his uncle, and he was selling it for him”.

The second alleged victim also tested positive for HIV in June 2017. Deputies said she gave them names of other women X had contact with.

On October 2017, another person stated they began having unprotected sex with him in August of 2017 until last month.

X confessed to deputies he is HIV positive. A relative listed in the report stated she believed he’s known since 2012 of his sexual status.

Investigators believe there could be more victims.

 

[Update]UK: Man sentenced to 32 months in South Devon for not disclosing his HIV status, a requirement from a previous court order

Serial love rat who infected gran, 82, with HIV jailed over new relationship
February 15, 2019

Published in The Mirror on February 15, 2019

Serial love rat who infected gran, 82, with HIV jailed over new relationship

X was sentenced to 32 months after breaching court orders which meant he must disclose to any woman he meets that he is HIV positive

A HIV-positive serial love rat who infected an 82-year-old grandmother with the virus has been jailed for his relationship with another woman.

X was sentenced to 32 months after breaching court orders which meant he must tell any woman he meets that he is HIV positive.

The order was first made in 2005 when he infected an 82-year-old woman with the virus after having sex with her.

Since then X has breached the Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) and Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) on various occasions.

Those orders banned him for engaging in sex with anyone if he had not told them he was HIV positive, and associating with children under 16 in a public or private place.

Yesterday Judge Paul Cook jailed him for a total of 32 months. 

X met his latest victim after setting up a profile on the dating website Plenty of Fish.

He told his victim she “looked lovely” and he met the woman and visited her and her family on four occasions.

Judge Paul Cook said: “You engaged in sexual activity with her which involved intimate kissing.

“The sexual activity was intimate but it fell short of penile penetration.”

The judge said he also played with her two-year-old great granddaughter, bouncing her up and down on his knees and playing with her toys.

He said he infected the 82-year-old woman with HIV when he was 44 and in 2015 he had a sexual relationship with a 65-year-old woman.

Prosecutor Mary McCarthy said X has a long history of offending including violence, dishonesty and sexual offences.

In 2009 he breached the orders four times when he undertook work for an elderly lady.

In 2012 after he was freed from jail he associated with a vulnerable female family member.

In 2014 he breached it by going to Guernsey with a woman with whom he had unprotected sex.

And again in 2014 he befriended a woman who had children.

Exeter Crown Court said his police offender manager investigated last September that X had begun a relationship with a 62-year-old woman in Brixham, Devon.

Miss McCarthy said: “It quickly developed into a relationship but not a sexual one. They were close quite quickly and there was kissing and sexual touching.

“She had not been informed he was HIV positive.”

X was arrested but told police he had informed the woman of his HIV status.

And he said their relationship was a friendly one where he pecked her on the cheek – and denied it was a sexual relationship.

Kevin Hopper, defending, said: “There is a theme here of the same old offences committed time and time again.

“The terms of the order have been made crystal clear to him.”

He said X, of Brixham, Devon, claims the chances of passing on his viral infection are zero.

Mr Hopper said: “He does not consider himself a sex offender.

“The order is an albatross around his neck.”

He said if 57-year-old X discloses his sexual status to anyone it marks “the end of the relationship before it has started”.

X admitted breaching the SOPO in October 2017 and breaching the SHPO in January 2019.

The judge told him: “You have persistently breached the order since 2005. The public are entitled to protection because you have infected someone in the past.

He said X had retreated from the last relationship just as police began investigating him.


 

October 12, 2018

Man with HIV accused of having sex without telling woman about virus

X, 57, will stand trial in February accused of breaching a sex ban notification order.

An HIV positive man from South Devon will stand trial accused of having sex with a woman without informing her about the virus.

X, 57, appeared at Exeter Crown Court via video link from prison charged with breaching the terms of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order.

It is alleged that he engaged in sexual relations with a woman without informing her of his HIV status, something he is required to do by an order imposed in 2005.

X entered a not guilty plea to the charge.

He was represented in court by Ms Ceylan Bayram who said the defendant maintained his innocence.

Prosecutor Ms Caroline Bolt said there would have to be a trial.

Judge Timothy Rose remanded X in custody.

A trial lasting two days will take place on February 13 next year.

Published in DevonLife on October 11, 2018


July 19, 2013

Friendly neighbour who was high risk sex offender

UNSUSPECTING neighbours who befriended a notorious sex offender while he hid behind a secret identity said their families should have been made aware of the risks. Two families, who have asked not to be identified due to fears for their safety, have spoken exclusively to the Echo to highlight their grave concerns after discovering they were living alongside a dangerous sex pest.

They were shocked to discover the ‘friendly’ neighbour X, who had offered to mow a neighbour’s lawn and fix a youngster’s car, was in fact X. X is an HIV-infected sex offender who was banned from having any contact with anyone over 60. Last week he was jailed for six months for breaking this strict court order.

In 2005 he was one of the first people in Britain to be jailed for recklessly infecting a partner with HIV. He admitted causing grievous bodily harm to an 82-year-old woman who he befriended. He was jailed for three years and three months at Exeter Crown Court and after his release he moved to the village of Whitestone near Exeter. He was released in 2007 but made subject to a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (SOPO) which banned him from having any contact with anyone over 60. He was jailed again in 2009 for a further three years at Exeter Crown Court for breaking the order by approaching vulnerable elderly women around Whitestone and offering to do odd jobs around their home.

Belarus: 22-year-old woman under investigation in Minsk for alleged HIV exposure

В Минске 22–летняя девушка заведомо поставила своего парня в опасность заражения ВИЧ–инфекцией
February 13, 2019

Published in sb.by on February 13, 2019 – Google translation. For original article in Russian, scroll down.

In Minsk, a 22-year-old girl deliberately placed her boyfriend at risk of HIV infection

The employees of the criminal investigation department of the Frunzensky District Internal Affairs Directorate of Minsk conducted a set of activities to collect materials regarding a 22-year-old Minsk woman, who knew that she had HIV infection and also had sexual intercourse with her partner without contraception. 

The official representative of the Frunzensky police department of Minsk, Natalya Oskirko, whom the sb.by correspondent turned to, said: 

“This young man and girl were living together. She has known that she has human immunodeficiency virus, since the end of 2017. However, this information was hidden from him. Engaged in sexual intercourse without using contraception. Earlier this girl used drugs intravenously. Recently, the couple spent time in the company of mutual friends, and during the conversation, one of her friends told the young man about his girlfriend being HIV. Then this 28-year-old Minsk resident went to the police.

As a result of a medical examination, it was established that the young man, despite the very high risk, did not become infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. However, the actions of the girl deliberately put him in danger of infection. 

Previously, she was not brought to criminal responsibility, but was charged under articles of the Administrative Code for committing petty theft and being in a public place while intoxicated. 


В Минске 22-летняя девушка заведомо поставила своего парня в опасность заражения ВИЧ-инфекцией

Сотрудники уголовного розыска Фрунзенского РУВД Минска провели комплекс мероприятий по сбору материалов в отношении 22-летней минчанки, которая знала о том, что у нее ВИЧ-инфекция, и при этом вступала в половые отношения со своим сожителем без средств контрацепции.

Официальный представитель Фрунзенского РУВД Минска Наталья Оскирко, к которой обратился корреспондент sb.by, сообщила:

— Этот молодой человек и девушка сожительствовали. Она о том, что у нее вирус иммунодефицита человека, знала с конца 2017 года. Однако от него эту информацию скрывала. Вступала в половую связь, не используя средства контрацепции. Ранее эта девушка употребляла наркотики внутривенно. Недавно пара проводила время в компании общих друзей, и в ходе беседы одна из знакомых рассказала молодому человеку о ВИЧ у его подруги. Затем этот 28-летний минчанин обратился с заявлением в милицию.

В результате медицинского обследования было установлено, что молодой человек, несмотря на очень высокий риск, не заразился вирусом иммунодефицита человека. Однако действия девушки заведомо поставили его в опасность заражения.

В отношении девушки собраны необходимые материалы и переданы в СК. Ранее она к уголовной ответственности не привлекалась, но привлекалась по статьям КоАП за совершение мелкого хищения и нахождение в общественном месте в состоянии алкогольного опьянения.

[Update]Canada: New Federal guidelines leads Northwest Territories to drop sexual assault charge for alleged HIV non-disclosure against Nunavut man

Crown stays sex assault charges against HIV–positive man in Yellowknife
February 12, 2019

Source: CBC News, Published in February 12, 2019

Crown stays sex assault charges against HIV-positive man in Yellowknife

X had been accused of failing to disclose his HIV-positive status.

A 2018 directive from Canada’s former justice minister has led Crown attorneys to drop a sexual assault charge against a man who is HIV-positive.

X was charged with sexual assault in Yellowknife after allegedly not disclosing his HIV-positive status to a sex partner. But in Northwest Territories Territorial Court on Tuesday, prosecutors announced they wouldn’t go ahead with the case.

“We followed the directive and chose not to prosecute,” said Crown attorney Alex Godfrey.

It’s illegal for an HIV-positive person to have sex with someone and not disclose their status, if the incident poses a realistic possibility of transmitting the virus.

What constitutes a “realistic possibility” in Canadian law changed on Dec. 8, when former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould issued new guidelines in light of recent science.

Among other things, it encourages prosecutors to “generally” avoid pursuing charges if people are taking their drug treatment as prescribed.

Scientific evidence shows people who take their medications regularly may be able to keep traces of the virus so low in their blood that it becomes undetectable, and people with these extremely low viral loads don’t have a realistic possibility of transmitting the virus to others.

Jay Bran, Kaotalok’s attorney, said the Crown decided not to continue with charges against his client after “medical documents gave us more insight into his medical condition.”

Bran said he believes the Crown’s decision not to prosecute X “speaks volumes” about the level of risk  — or lack thereof — to which he exposed the person he slept with.

The directive also encourages Crown attorneys to consider whether it’s in the public interest to prosecute.

In 2013, X, who’s originally from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, was sentenced for aggravated sexual assault after having sex with two women and not telling them about his status. He used a condom with one of the women. Under the new guidelines, sexual activity with a condom does not pose a realistic risk of transmission. As of 2013, neither woman had been diagnosed with HIV. 

“I’m happy for my client,” said Bran. “I know this was weighing very heavily on him … Today he’s relieved and happy this prosecution is over.”

 

 

May 27, 2013 

Cambridge Bay man appears in Supreme Court

A Cambridge Bay, Nunavut man currently serving three and a half years for aggravated sexual assault has appeared in court in Yellowknife.  27-year-old X pled guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault earlier this year for not telling two women he had sex with in Yellowknife that he was HIV positive.  He still  faces one more charge of aggravated sexual assault in connection with another woman and appeared in court Monday in order to formally change his lawyer. A return court date has not yet been set.

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