To be told you are HIV-positive must be one of the toughest things in life to hear. To be accused of knowingly spreading the HIV virus to others must also be tough to hear, especially if you believe you didn’t do it. One Florida man may be feeling this way right now. He has been arrested by Sheriff’s deputies and is now facing felony charges arising out of allegations that he knowingly spread the dreaded virus.

News reporters interviewed one man who claims he was infected when the accused had sexual relations with him. He claims the man told him he had been tested for the virus two months earlier, and that he was clean.

Under Florida law it is a felony to have sexual relations with a person if you know you are HIV-positive, and do not warn them you are infected. A person can be charged under this law whether or not the alleged victim actually became infected. As with all felonies, the law carries serious penalties. Those who are convicted can face a prison sentence of up to five years.

The key issue in any case arising under this law is whether the accused knew they had the virus when they had sexual relations with the alleged victim. If prosecutors are unable to produce medical records that clearly show the accused was told by a physician that they had the virus, the charges should be dismissed. If the medical records are unclear, or if the accused disputes what they say, reasonable doubt as to the charges can be raised and an acquittal by the jury is a possibility

Source: WINKnews.com, “Fort Myers man arrested, accused of knowingly spreading HIV,” Aug. 17, 2013

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