US: Florida court to decide if HIV non-disclosure law applies to sex between men


Man charged with spreading HIV wants case dropped

December 9, 2013
Source: abc-7

The definition of sexual intercourse is at the heart of a Lee County man’s motion to have the charges against him dropped. X admits he had sex with two men without telling them he is HIV positive, but X argued the law requiring people who know they have HIV to tell their partners before sexual intercourse doesn’t apply to sex between two men.

X’s attorney claimed the state’s definition of sexual intercourse only applies to heterosexual sex and argued for dismissal of the charges in a Lee County court room Monday. “We admitted to everything the state has alleged. We’re just simply relying on the fact that the statute doesn’t apply,” said defense attorney Patrick Buckley. “Mr. X is being charged with a crime that, by definition, he could not have committed.”

The state called the argument absurd, saying the definition is about common sense, and the law applies to people of all sexual orientations. “It’s 2013, and it boggles my mind that this statute would have been designed to not protect every person in our community,” said Assistant State Attorney Tyler Lovejoy.

Another local man, Tony Paulino, faces similar charges after two women say he gave them HIV. Lovejoy cited the case during Monday’s hearing, saying it would be injust for Paulino to face charges but not X. “To crIminalize one category of people and not the conduct of another group of people makes no common sense,” Lovejoy said.

Judge J. Frank Porter will have the final say on whether the definition of sexual intercourse is a question of legality or common sense. He said he will review the arguments before issuing a written ruling. “When I get to the Justice Center every day, I don’t check my common sense at the door,” Porter said, noting that he strictly construes laws and statutes. Lovejoy said the state will appeal if Porter dismisses the charges.