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Tuesday, 27 November 2007

US: Iowa woman receives probation after pleading guilty to criminal HIV transmission

A woman who had previously pleaded not guilty to criminal HIV transmission charges changed her plea to guilty in return for a suspended 25 year prison sentence and four years' probation, during which time she is not allowed to have sex.

Apparently that's getting off lightly in Iowa, which has a specific law in its State code that criminalises anyone who might potentially transmit HIV, whether it be via exchange of body fluids via sex, injecting drug use, and blood or organ donation. It is a class B felony.

In 2006, the Iowa Supreme Court
upheld the law after Adam Musser, 25, appealed his four convictions -- and 25-year-prison sentences -- for having unprotected sex with four different women in 2002 and not telling them he was HIV-positive.

However, it's not clear from the only report on this 'crime' - from the Sioux City Journal – that HIV was transmitted.

Woman placed on probation for transmitting HIV to man

A Sioux City woman was placed on probation today after pleading guilty to transmitting the virus that causes AIDS to a man with whom she was having a sexual relationship.

Leslie L. Flaggs, 46, pleaded guilty in Woodbury County District Court to transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.

"I was HIV positive, and I didn't tell (the man) I was," Flaggs said during her plea hearing.

According to court documents, Flaggs engaged in a sexual relationship with the man from roughly Feb. 1 through April 30.

Abiding by terms of a plea agreement, District Judge John D. Ackerman suspended a 25-year prison sentence and placed Flaggs on four years probation.

Among the conditions of her probation, Flaggs must register with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry for 10 years, have no intimate contact with another person, continue her medical treatment and write a letter of apology to the victim.

Flaggs' case was believed to have been the first in Woodbury County in which a defendant was charged with transmitting the virus by sexual contact. In a previous case, a jail inmate was charged after throwing bodily fluids at a corrections officer.



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