Stupid People Suck

I'm kind of interested in these "Assault by HIV" cases.
On one hand, of course it's a horrible thing to knowingly spread such a deadly disease.  But, on the other hand - that's the risk you  take when you have unprotected sex. 
Would he be just as guilty if he had never been tested, and went around having unprotected sex, not knowing he was spreading HIV?  No.  So, therefore, he's being penalized for being tested? 
And I'm not saying these women got what they deserved.  But... well... he had sex with a lot of people.  It doesn't say how many in the article, but it says that he could have infected up to 170 people, including partners' partners.  So... he had sex with a lot of people... and if just never occurred to these people to think back to their 9th grade sex ed class, or the posters they saw on the bus, and think "Hmm... maybe we should use a condom," then shame on them.
I think everyone is out to blame someone.  And where there's blame to passed - it's easier to say "That guy did something to me," then to say "Man, was I dumb."  Because in the end, these people aren't alleging rape (that, of course, would be a very different situation), but they're alleging that they were dumb.
Just my take.  Anyone else?


  1. From the crimlaw perspective, I would imagine that if he had not gotten tested, he would not have known for sure that he was HIV+ and thus the worst that he could have been guilty of is recklessness (i.e. knowing that there was a good chance he was positive and having unprotected sex anyway). However, after being tested and finding out the results, I think that rises to knowledge.

    From the tort perspective, perhaps an argument can be made that these women "assumed the risk". But I think that a better argument can be made that it is generally accepted that if your partner is HIV+, (s)he'll tell you that before sex.

    This is not to say that these women weren't stupid. But that's like saying that the woman who gets raped because she walked naked into a bad neighborhood at 3 AM is stupid. Yes she was, but that doesn't make the rapist(s) any less culpable.

    In my opinion, of course. But what do I know, I'm just a procrastinating law student...

  2. I see where you're going with the "she deserved it" analogy, but I don't think it's totally on point. Obviously, I think we'd both agree that rape, as a violent crime, is something completely different than consenting to something and later saying "Maybe I didn't have all of the information I needed to make an informed consent."

    I think a slightly closer analogy is if a woman lied and said she was using birth control. Or didn't say anything, and her partner assumed that to mean that she was. 9 months later, the man would be held financially responsible for the child. This is a civil, not criminal analysis - but I think most would agree that the man should be held financially responsible for the child. If he didn't want to be, he should've inquired about birth control.

    Why not hold the female victims in the HIV case to the same standard?

  3. Both parties have to pay for care of the child in the second case. So maybe they should break up the HIV situation as a percentage. 50% her for stupidity, 50% him for being a jerk. Figure out your own percentages on a case by case basis. Fiancee vs. random hook-up.

  4. Interesting case a couple of years ago in Denver. An HIV+ prostitute was arrested for prositution. She was told that she shouldn't trick. Got caught again having unprotected sex. Got locked up for awhile for this. Got out, got busted again, for same thing. In a case like this, all the judge can do is throw up his hands. She frankly did not care.

    And yes, for the procrastinating law student, one of her john's could probably get a tort verdict against her. But the difference between law school and real life is that she is judgment proof, if not still in jail.