Henrico man convicted in HIV case in Maryland dies
A Henrico man, who was sentenced in March 2015 on charges related to having unprotected sex with two women in Maryland and failing to tell them he was HIV positive, has died.
The Baltimore Medical Examiner’s office is investigating the cause of death of X, who received an 18-month sentence on reckless endangerment charges.
The Baltimore Police Department says X was found dead on Sept. 18 in the 2400 block of West Lexington Street for a “dead on arrival” call.
There were no signs of physical trauma or foul play.
Court documents show that several woman had accused X of sexual assault. At one time, X faced nine charges related to possibly exposing women to HIV.
“I am not a criminal. I am not a bad person. I just made a mistake. … It doesn’t mean you have HIV, though,” the Washington Post reported X as telling one of the victims.
Several charges — including ones which make it illegal to “knowingly transfer or attempt to transfer” HIV to another person — were dropped, according to the Washington Post, in a plea deal.
Man sentenced to 18 months in Montgomery County HIV case
X, an HIV-infected man accused of exposing two women to the virus, was sentenced to 18 months in jail Monday by a judge who tacked on the condition that he no longer have unprotected sex.
Montgomery Circuit Judge Joseph M. Quirk sentenced X to 18 months in jail for two counts of reckless endangerment involving two victims — saying that X should know about such fear. “You have had the personal, in-your-body knowledge of what pain that might inflict,” he said.
X’s attorney had asked for a shorter sentence, arguing in part that X had been taking the kind of antiretroviral drugs that greatly reduce the risk of spreading the virus. “He was acutely aware of the very low chances of anyone getting HIV,” said the attorney, Andy Jezic.
As the court case progressed, X’s attorney began submitting scientific papers to the court about medication and risk reduction. A plea deal was reached. The HIV-related counts, which make it illegal to “knowingly transfer or attempt to transfer” HIV to another person, were dropped. X pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment.
In court Monday, Jezic cited a recent Best Practices Guide from the U.S. Justice Department, questioning whether states should still have HIV laws like the one in Maryland, given medical advances. X also spoke.
At first he was apologetic. “I don’t think I can explain how extremely sorry I am for the victims,” he said.
Then he said he didn’t think he belonged in jail. “I didn’t tell her I was positive because I was drinking and doing all this crazy stuff,” he said.
It was Quirk, the judge, who had the final word, telling X he didn’t have the right to withhold his HIV-positive status from women before they made the decision to have sex with him.
“You deprived them of that choice,” he said