U.S. v. Edwards, 1996 CCA Lexis 224 (A.C.M. 1996)

Court and Agency Decisions and Orders (including case law)

This is a United States Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals decision affirming an HIV positive airman's convictions for disobeying the "safe sex" order, aggravated assault, and adultery. 

After learning he was HIV positive, Edwards, the appellant, received a safe sex order from his squadron commander officer directing him to not engage in unprotected sex and to advise all prospective sexual partners of his status. Edwards later had unprotected sexual intercourse several times with a woman to whom he did not disclose his status. 
On appeal, Edwards argued that the order was unlawful in that it allowed him to be convicted multiple times for the same offense. The court disagreed, stating that aggravated assault and disobedience of a lawful order were not multiplicious. Describing Edwards's HIV as an "extraordinary medical condition," the court found that the order was "specifically purposed to prevent the further spread of AIDS, something which is well within the commander's purview." The court upheld Edwards's bad-conduct discharge, confinement for two years, and reduction to the lowest enlisted grade. This case illustrates the extra burden HIV positive people face in the military's justice system, where superiors can impose higher restrictions on subordinates' behavior than are normally found in civilian law and policy.
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