An HIV-positive man has been charged with murder for transferring the virus to his partner, who later died of AIDS.
Ronald Murdock, a 51-year-old from Toledo, Ohio has been charged with murder for failing to disclose he was HIV-positive and infecting his five-year partner, who later died of AIDS. He was charged with both felonious assault and murder last week.
According to Clinton Wasserman, the prosecutor, Murdock appeared at Lucas County criminal court on Tuesday and was sent to jail on a $1.5 million bail.
Murdock’s arraignment was moved to 13th June 2017 in order to give him time to find legal representation. If found guilty, he would be facing up to life in prison.
HIV-Related Crimes in the US
Murdock’s case comes after a series of cases against HIV-positive individuals over sexual activities that would infect other people with the virus. Several states in the US, including Ohio, have a law that requires HIV-positive individuals to inform their sexual partners of their HIV status.
According to the New York HIV Law And Policy Center, from 2008 to 2016, there have been almost 280 arrests and indictments related to unexpected HIV exposure in the US. Some advocates for HIV-positive individuals , including the center, argue that such laws help discriminate and stigmatize people with HIV.
The woman’s son, Josh Kelmpner, is someone who is in support of these laws. He told WTVG: “It would be different if he had let people know that he had it (HIV) before he got in that relationship, but he didn’t. So that right there tells me and everybody else that he has no care.” According to Josh, his sister found out about his HIV status when she took a look at his medications.
According to the police report, Murdock was married during his five-year-long affair with the woman. Neither a police spokesman nor Murdock were reachable for their comments on the indictment.