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National News

California: Court-Ordered HIV Test Requires Exchange of Bodily Fluids

September 16, 2002

A man who was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14 might be able to avoid HIV testing, according to an appeals court decision. According to a decision by the California Court of Appeals, 5th Appellate District, the decision by Superior Court of Fresno County by Judge Lawrence Jones was overturned due to lack of evidence that bodily fluids were transferred from Frank Melvin Slack to a five-year old he was accused of fondling. Slack denied any inappropriate behavior, but said he might have accidentally touched the child through her clothing. Judge Jones sentenced him to six years in prison and ordered him to submit to an HIV test. In overturning the decision, the appeals court said, "the failure of the court to make the required finding and lack of any evidence on the record to support such a finding renders the order unauthorized." The court noted that the prosecutor had no notice that such evidence was required to overcome a defense objection. Therefore, the court agreed to strike the AIDS testing order, but remanded the matter to permit further hearing on the issue if the prosecutor so requests.

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Adapted from:
AIDS Policy & Law

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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