A 37 year-old man from Sterling, Illinois has been charged under the state's "criminal transmission of HIV" laws, even though "the actual transmission of HIV is not a required element of this crime." It is alleged he had sex thirteen times with his girlfriend without disclosing his HIV status.
The confused law partially explains why the reporting of this case, on WQAD.com is also so confused. But it doesn't excuse the amazingly irresponsible scaremongering quotes (if they are accurate) from the local police chief and a local infectious disease specialist, who should know better.
Taylor is pleading not guilty, but authorities suspect there will be more victims.The accused man is now in custody, and has been charged with "13 felony counts with the same woman [which] carries three to seven years in prison."
"This guy presumably has been spreading it," said Sterling Police Chief Ron Potthoff. "And if these women contract it, they will be spreading it."
It's news of a potentially deadly cycle at the Whiteside County Health Department. Plenty of calls are coming in on Thursday.
"It's scary," said Joan Saunders, infectious disease specialist.
It's a situation where one person could infect many others. HIV tests are available at the Whiteside County Health Department for $20.
"The sooner that we can get people that have concerns tested, we're either going to relieve their minds or refer them to the proper services," she said.
He will next appear in court on April 15th.
Update May 1st: Seems the prosecution is having trouble proving that he knew he was HIV-positive because state privacy laws do not allow medical records to be used in criminal hearings. An Illinois State Senator is proposing to change the laws.
Two reports, on mystateline.com and mywebtimes.com