Update: February 1st 2009. Gerald Campbell Jr. has been sentenced t0 between 10 and 15 years in prison, according to a report in Montcalm County's Daily News.
A quote from the Montcalm County Assistant Prosecutor, Christopher Hekman, sums up how much ignorance there is amongst those working in the criminal justice system about HIV. None of his four 'victims' were infected with HIV, and yet following a comment by Campbell's attorney, Dennis Moore, that this may well be a life sentence for his client, Hekman tells the paper:
"We're talking about four women who are not out of the woods yet," Montcalm County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Hekman responded. "They may still come down with this fatal disease (AIDS). Mr. Moore talks about a life sentence for his client, but he (Campbell) may have handed down four life sentences to these women, two of whom are not even adults yet."Today's sensitive HIV antibody tests have reduced the 'window period' between infection and diagnosis to a few weeks. A few people may produce antibodies outside this period, but all tests are now accurate by 3 months. Mr Campbell had unprotected sex with four women (two of whom were under 16) at least six months ago, and probably closer to a year. There is no way that they could now possibly test HIV-positive as a result of those sexual encounters.
Original post: A 32 year-old Michigan man has pleaded 'no contest' to two counts of HIV exposure and two counts of underage sex, after complaints from two women led to widespread publicity and a police 'fishing expedition', which resulted in two further complainants, both of whom were under 16.
He faces a life sentence.
The brief AP story, published in the Detroit Free Press, is below.
HIV-positive man pleads no contest to 4 sex charges
December 5, 2008
STANTON, Mich.— A man accused of molesting two underaged girls and having unprotected sex with two women who did not know he carries the AIDS virus has pleaded no contest to four felony sex charges.
Thirty-two-year-old Gerald Campbell Jr. of Crystal entered the pleas Thursday in a Stanton courtroom. Crystal is about 45 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.
A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated by the court as such at sentencing.
Campbell pleaded no contest to two counts of AIDS sexual penetration with an uninformed partner and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
He faces up to life in prison when sentenced.
Defense lawyer Dennis Moore declined to comment when contacted at his Edmore office.
HIV-positive Crystal man is sent to prison
Elisabeth Waldon, The Daily News
30 Jan 2009
STANTON - An HIV-positive Crystal resident was sent back to prison for up to 15 years Thursday after pleading no contest to four sex charges.
Gerald Campbell Jr., 32, appeared handcuffed and wearing jail clothes alongside his attorney, Dennis Moore of Edmore, for sentencing before Judge Suzanne Hoseth Kreeger in 8th Judicial Circuit Court.
Campbell pleaded no contest last year to two counts of AIDS sexual penetration with an uninformed partner and two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
A no contest plea does not admit guilt but is treated as a guilty plea by the court.
The crimes involved two women from Carson City and Hubbardston plus two underage girls from Belding and Crystal. Carson City Police Chief Jeff Hilliker investigated the case. He said the two underage girls came forward after The Daily News published a Sept. 3, 2008, story about the two women victims.
"This sentence that is to be imposed may very well be a life sentence for this young man," Moore said.
"We're talking about four women who are not out of the woods yet," Montcalm County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Hekman responded. "They may still come down with this fatal disease (AIDS). Mr. Moore talks about a life sentence for his client, but he (Campbell) may have handed down four life sentences to these women, two of whom are not even adults yet."
Before sentencing, Kreeger told Campbell he had "a reckless disregard for the welfare of others."
Campbell testified in this week's arson trial against Jim Westra, owner of the former Haunted Mill in Greenville. During that trial Campbell said he was testifying because his conscience was bothering him. Despite his testimony, he did not receive a deal from the prosecutor's office.
"I hope that you do have a conscience and that it does eat at you because this type of behavior is criminal," Hoseth Kreeger said Thursday.
She then sentenced Campbell to from 10 to 15 years in prison with no credit for time already served, since he was on probation at the time of his offenses. He also must register as a sex offender.
"I just hope the best for the victims," said Hilliker, who was present during Thursday's sentencing. "I hope they come out OK."
Campbell previously served prison time from the ages of 17 to 31. He was sentenced to from 12 to 25 years in prison on Dec. 3, 1993, for assault with intent to commit murder. Campbell was paroled from prison on Sept. 25, 2007.