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October 17, 2011

Man Found Guilty of Transmitting HIV Despite Informing Partner

A jury believed that Daniel James Rick, a 30-year-old Minneapolis man, informed his partner that he was HIV positive before the two had sex, but nonetheless they found him guilty of transmitting HIV, convicting him of attempted first-degree assault, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. They based their decision on a statute that criminalizes the "transfer of blood, sperm, organs or tissue, except as deemed necessary for medical research or if disclosed on donor screening forms." Because Rick didn't use a condom, the jury said, it didn't matter whether he disclosed his status beforehand. Rick's attorney, Landon Ascheman, argued that the clause on which Rick was found guilty is meant to apply to medical procedures rather than sexual transmission, and says he intends to appeal.

To read the Star Tribune article, click here.

Search: HIV, criminalization, disclosure, Minneapolis

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  comments 1 - 15 (of 63 total)     next > >>

Sanjuanboy, San Juan, PR, 2012-08-10 17:34:25
although, a poz person has an added responsibility to not infect others,people also have to protect themselves. Let's not forget his accuser was a bartender in a gay bar. Need I say more, we all know how they "get around." Sad, but true. I believe it that he informed his partner that night, but probably due to alcohol and drugs consented to unsafe intercourse. I know this is judgemental,but I've worked in gay bars years ago. I know the lifestyle and it's sickening.

Trophyboy1, Ft. Lauderdale, 2012-01-07 10:39:34
INFORMED CONSENT is the only legal requirement. Condom use is nothing more than a personal choice. If I am HIV-, and I knowingly choose to have 'unprotected' sex with an HIV+ guy, that is strictly my business and my freedom of choice. Those of you who fancy yourselves to be self-appointed condom police have no say whatsoever in my private sex life. And likewise, the courts & law enforcement have ZERO authority to interfere in my personal choice to opt out of condom use in my private sex life.

Jeton Ademaj, Harlem, NYC, 2012-01-03 11:17:13
Jose, there's more than one kind of protection. if the convicted man was medication-adherent and had a consistently undetectable viral load, the risk of transmission was negligible, and certainly lower risk than walking outside in an active thunderstorm or crossing a busy NYC intersection during rush hour. The jury accepts the defendant's disclosure claim...they convicted on spurious reasoning that endangers every poz person. if he is guilty of rape, then THAT is what he should be convicted of.

Jose, Miami, FL, 2012-01-01 19:19:28
Wow, slipper slope. As poz people we do have the responsibility to protect others who believe they are negative, even if they don't care to protect themselves. I have had several negative boyfriends or dates, who in a few moments of passion, lost their better judgement after I disclosed my status. I still chose to protect them because it is the right thing to do and it is my responsibilty to not contribute to this epidemic. We should know better.

Cameron, , 2011-12-31 16:21:47
Brian, disclosure and sexual segregation are just polite ways of describing patterns of behavior that create modern leper colonies, and they're about as effective for them and damaging to us. If you're a gay man who is barebacking strangers, you're poz-end of story. The idea that we shouldn't have consensual unprotected sex after disclosing is indicative of a double standard that we'd never impose on people with any other bad communicable disease, and shows how irrational the issue is.

Tai Miller, Santa Cruz, 2011-12-29 14:46:58
It's not clear from the original article that the defendant actually told his partner he was HIV+. He says he did, but the partner says he didn't. And it's worth noting the partner came forward after hearing about other men the defendant had infected without telling them he had HIV. Sounds like the jury got it right to me.

Brian, San Francisco, 2011-12-29 14:38:58
As an HIV positive man, I have a responsibility to disclose and inform...I also have the right to NOT have unprotectd sex with others regardless of their disclosure to me. I would not want to cause anyone the grief I went through when I tested positive.

Cameron, Dayton, OH, 2011-12-23 15:09:43
A more accurate title would have been "Multiple sex offender found guilty of transmitting HIV despite arguing consent". This is probably not a battle we want to fight. Further, I wonder, why is there never any compassion for the victim, who is now also poz? By some accounts he maintains that he was drugged and raped-hardly "informed". We should be wary of the precedent this sets, and we're right to fear a growing double standard in protection, but the defendant probably belongs in prison.

Sammy, , 2011-12-23 14:21:01
Oh, whatever, treating *everyone* as if they are poz is completely paranoid. There are certain instances in which you should have the right to trust your partner. Further, more than a few of us DID use the stupid things but tested poz anyways. They aren't perfect, despite what everyone on here thinks. This is why I find "prevention" so offensive. There is way more nuance to the situation than "just wear a condom". As for this story, there's too much real stigma to waste our concerns here.

David L, Ohio, 2011-12-22 12:24:58
As I was told many years ago, treat everyone as if they are positive, disclose it if you are - but you cannot blame anyone but yourself. As you have the right to protect yourself. I think it is sad that someone honest is treated as a criminal. I hate to say it, but negative guys are ok for friends, but one poz guy to another, we don't have to worry about persecution/prosecution.

Michael, , 2011-12-14 23:03:45
At least he was lucky to have a poz partner who was honest with him. My partner lied to me about his status until it was too late and I was also infected. After I left him because of his betrayal he apparently went on to spread it to others until AIDs ended his life two years ago. I guess what I learned from it was to be completely truthful with a potential partner. No it isn't easy but its better than destroying someones life. Be responsible and be safe.

Fred, New York, 2011-12-12 02:54:30
This is ridiculous­. It is pretty obvious to me that If you are willing to have unprotecte­d sex knowingly with someone with HIV that chances that you have engaged in high risk sexual activity in the past. It can't be proven that he was infected by this man. I would have questioned this victims sexual past and drug history and included a hair follicle test. As individual­s it is are OWN responsibi­lity to protect OURSELVES.

JamesT42, East Coast, USA, 2011-12-05 02:13:51
OK ignore my last reply if you read the entire article it says this at the end about the guy who should be in jail Rick faces three more counts of attempted first degree assault and third degree criminal sexual conduct in earlier cases that caused his victim in last weeks trial to come forward. He was charged in February 2010 with raping a drunken man after a night out in downtown Minneapolis, transferring the virus to him. The publicity from that case led two men to come forward the next month

JT, East Coast, USA, 2011-12-05 02:07:30
Whatever happened to personal responsibility? If I were on this jury I would not have convicted the HIV+ person who was totally honest about being HIV+ since the HIV neg person made the personal choice to not use condoms or have safer sex at all despite knowing that they were with someone that has HIV.

carl, Atlanta, 2011-12-02 03:04:25
I got it from my ex partner that KNEW about his status, but besides lie constantly, refused for months to get tested until I left him.... he had close friends (mature straight friends) that told me... " honey don't worry because if he is pos, you are ALREADY pos as well..." and that's what happened..... what could I do... since nobody really cared about my well being.... when I left him he was in denial, even after been officially diagnosed and God knows how many more people he contaminate.

comments 1 - 15 (of 63 total)     next > >>

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