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Thursday, 28 February 2008

US: Illinois man accused of HIV exposure after serving time for HIV transmission

A 24 year-old Illinois man, who previously served four years for criminal HIV transmission has now been accused by his former, pregnant, girlfriend – and her sister, with whom he also had sex – of criminal HIV exposure.

Bethalto is a suburb of St. Louis (which spans two states, Missouri and Illinois) but it appears he is being charged under Illinois state laws (Madison County jail is in Illinois), although both states have HIV exposure laws.

Story, from KSDK NewsChannel5's website, below.

After Prison Release, Man Accused Of Criminal Transmission of HIV, Again
updated: 2/25/2008 10:20:46 PM
By Ann Rubin

(KSDK) - He was convicted of exposing a teenager to HIV without her knowledge. Now, four months after being released from prison, a 24-year old Bethalto man is accused of doing the same thing again.

Right after he was released, police believe Casey Yonts found a new girlfriend. They say he had unprotected sex with her and then also had sex with her sister.

For awhile though, Yonts appeared to be the perfect boyfriend, according to this woman, we'll call "Susan".

She says, "he sent me text messages and told me he loved me 40 times a day."

But, it was what he wasn't saying that came as a shock. Court documents show Yonts had been previously sentenced to prison for sexual abuse of a minor, and criminal transmission of HIV.

After four years, he was released in November. His girlfriend had no idea about the crime, or the disease.

She says, "It had been about two months that we had been together and he still hadn't revealed any of that. I had to find out from the internet."

In fact, there was an entire MySpace page devoted to Yonts sexual past. Susan believes it was set up by a former girlfriend as a warning. Still, despite her own exposure to HIV, Susan didn't break up with him.

She says, "In my head I'm thinking oh my god if I get HIV, nobody's ever going to want to be with me. So I didn't break up with him right away because I figured if that were the case it would just be better to stay with him than be alone."

Then last week, everything changed, according to police. Detective Craig Welch says, "Mr. Yonts was caught having sexual relations with the sister of the 24 year old woman by another family member."

She says, "I figured if somebody who told me he loved me that much every day was willing to cheat on me with a family member, then what's going to stop him from doing it with somebody else three months from now."

Casey Yonts now faces new charges for failing to register as a sex offender and for exposing the sisters to HIV. So far both have tested negative.

But it's a different test Susan is worried about. She just found out she's pregnant.

She says, "I guess you really can't trust anybody. Because everything about our relationship was a lie."

Yonts is being held in the Madison County Jail. A preliminary hearing has been set for mid-March.



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