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HIV-Positive Man Convicted of Assault Despite Disclosure and Consensual Sex

October 18, 2011

On Oct. 7, a Minneapolis jury found an HIV-positive man guilty of first-degree assault for engaging in unprotected anal sex with an unnamed partner back in 2009. The kicker here is that the man being convicted, 30-year-old Daniel James Rick, did disclose his HIV status beforehand and the unnamed partner wanted to have unprotected sex anyway. When the partner later tested positive, he apparently decided that it was Rick's fault and that their act of consensual sex was assault.

The jury convicted Rick on a technicality in a 16-year-old Minnesota statute, 609.2241, which states that:

(1) sexual penetration with another person without having first informed the other person that the person has a communicable disease;

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More on HIV Transmission Cases

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Dr. Brian (Orlando, FL) Fri., Feb. 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm EST
The judge should have explained the law as it is cited above: (1) concerns sexual transmission, (2) concerns organ, blood, sperm & tissue DONATIONS - NOT sexual transmission, and (3) concerns transmission by nonsterile syringe. The HIV transmission occurred during sex, NOT through going to a sperm bank, blood bank or any other DONATED tissue - therefore ONLY (1) is applicable and the defendant is NOT guilty as disclosure did occur. The judge was wrong to allow this finding to stand and it calls into question the judge's ability to correctly read the law. The defendant's attorney is also at fault for not requesting the judge explain the law to the jury, specifically that (2) is NOT applicable in cases of sexual transmission. The decision will probably be reversed on appeal, at which time the defendant will have grounds for a civil suit against the court - all because the judge was incapable of reading and understanding the basic English found in the law.
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Comment by: Informed (Minnesota) Wed., Oct. 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm EDT
What this article doesn't say is the "unnamed" "victim" twice (yes 2 times) once during direct examination and once again during cross examination admitted to being HIV positive himself and NOT informing Mr. Rick. THAT is clearly a violation of the statute! He did exactly what he tried to claim Mr. Rick did. How do I know? I sat through the trial. Funny how there was no outcry from Freeman or the prosecuting attorney to arrest this "victim" for violating the law! Seems Hennepin County picks and chooses who to apply the law to.
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Comment by: Anna (Bennington, VT) Wed., Oct. 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm EDT
Personal I think its very wrong that he has slept with other people and not disclosed his HIV. Its someone just like that man that makes the world look down on the men and women that are HIV or have Aids. I can only hope that he learded from this and isnt still free to infect others around him.
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Comment by: farai Fri., Oct. 21, 2011 at 7:45 pm EDT
Anna you obviously haven't read the article. This guy was upfront with his status and the partner didnt mind. As a result he wasnt convicted on account of clause 1 but clause because there was transmission all the same.
To me this case helps to show one the more fundamental issues with HIV infection, ie love and/or trust. When you meet someone you love, you tend to trust them and that they could infect you becomes secondary until it happens.
Comment by: Warren Tong ( Wed., Oct. 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm EDT
farai, i think Anna was referring to the charges against Rick for not disclosing his status with other partners (not that I think he should have to). but to your point, the second clause of this statute makes disclosure irrelevant. as i keep saying, know your status and protect yourself. don't expect others to do it for you.

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