This Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth Appellate District judgment vacates an HIV positive defendant’s felonious assault conviction. The charge stemmed from the defendant having unprotected sex with a female partner, who later tested positive for HIV. The appeals court considered whether the defendant “knowingly” used HIV “as a weapon” within the meaning of Ohio’s felonious assault statute. The court found that there was no evidence that the defendant had tried to use HIV to cause anyone harm; rather, he was simply indifferent to the possible consequences to his partner. For this reason, the felonious assault conviction could not be sustained.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy is a national legal and policy resource and strategy center working to reduce the impact of HIV on vulnerable and marginalized communities and to secure the human rights of people affected by HIV.