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Setting the Record Straight: Minnesota v. Rick

September 17, 2013

In late August, the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned an HIV-positive man's conviction by a jury for "attempted first-degree assault by communicable disease." State of Minnesota v. Rick, A12-0058 (Minnesota 2013). However, Mr. Rick's victory did not strike down Minnesota's communicable diseases criminal statute. People living with HIV remain at risk of criminalization in Minnesota.

It still is illegal for people diagnosed with HIV to engage in "sexual penetration" without disclosure (Minn. Stat. § 609.2241 subdivision 1), or to "transfer ... blood, sperm, organs, or tissue" (Minn. Stat. § 609.2241 subdivision 2). In Mr. Rick's case, the court clarified that the second part of the law -- criminalizing the "transfer" of bodily fluids -- does not apply to sexual conduct.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: chris (Chicago, IL) Wed., Sep. 25, 2013 at 6:10 pm EDT
i wonder if they could genotype the virus of the accuser to see if it matches yours? or is this moot because viruses mutate?
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