SERO SERIOUS

MN Court Overturns Gay Man’s Conviction For HIV Transmission

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of an HIV-positive man who was accused of first degree assault for passing the virus to another man through unprotected sex.

Last fall, Daniel James Rick, 31, was found guilty under a Minnesota law making it a crime to knowingly transfer a communicable disease like HIV through “sexual penetration with another person” without informing the partner of their status.

The judge reversed Rick’s conviction because he had proven he disclosed his HIV-positive status before engaging in sex with his alleged victim.

HIV-transmission laws are highly controversial for several reasons: It’s almost impossible to prove whether someone has disclosed their status, sometimes consent isn’t accepted as a defense, and in some instances even using a condom won’t prevent prosecution. Others question whether such laws send HIV-positive people into the closet for fear of being accused of wrongdoing.

Some people see such laws as a reason not to get tested.

Ultimately, the overturning of this conviction may set an important, beneficial precedent. But don’t think he’s some Rosa Parks: Rick faces more charges for sleeping with other men unaware of his status, including one case allegedly involving date rape and another involving a minor:

Now a second man has come forward, saying he and his boyfriend met Rick online.

Robert O’Riley says just weeks after their sexual encounter, he came down with flu-like symptoms, and after testing positive for HIV his doctor told him he likely contracted it in the past few weeks. But it took a television report, with Rick’s photo on screen, for O’Riley to learn his alleged infector’s true identity.

There are separate charges involving Rick and a 15-year-old boy who sneaked out of his house to have sex with Rick.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says he plans to appeal the decision: “Mr Rick is a very dangerous man, who knew he was HIV positive, running around and giving it to people.”

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18 Comments

  • Dumdum

    OH MY GODDESS !!! That is some scary ass S#@T! How can they let that creep go? This is insane! He is like a twisted version of a serial killer. This is so creepy. I remember back in San Francisco when AIDS had made it’s un-glorious debut even the idea that someone would knowingly pass this disease to anyone was unthinkable. We were terrified, it was horrific,the wasting, the pain. It’s unimaginable to anyone today who wasn’t there. I took care of my friend John cause no one even wanted to be in the same room with someone who was sick back then. I watched him waste away for two years and he died in my arms. A beautiful loving intelligent man so giving and full of life, sweet as pie and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. So many beautiful people, so much suffering. I still have a hard time thinking about that very dark dark time in our history.

  • 2eo

    What a thoroughly vile individual. He should be locked up for his crimes, trying to purposely infect others with a horrific disease is one of the most awful crimes imaginable.

    The worst part is that people like this disgusting man allow insidious people to cling to the idea that HIV/AIDS is the “gay plague” and lets them run with it for even longer.

  • petensfo

    I’ve been shocked at how many young people are ready and willing to have unprotected sex. I’m not exactly blaming these victims, but they are also not without responsibility for their own foolish actions.

    What worries me most about this, is that it’s being legislated and decided judicially in such a conservative place.

  • Stache99

    @2eo:
    What part of this story did you all miss?

    “The judge reversed Rick’s conviction because he had proven he disclosed his HIV-positive status before engaging in sex with his alleged victim.”

    What exactly is the crime that he should be so severely punished that you all want for him ? Please enlighten me.

  • Fitz

    Stache99 is right. There is no crime if someone tops you, having warned you that they are poz, and you didn’t say “wait.. let’s get a condom on that bad puppy”. It’s not the government’s job to babysit you. Watch your own hole.

  • Dumdum

    @Stache99: HELLO ! 15 year old boy for one. IF YOU ARE INFECTED WITH HIV IT IS YOUR DUTY TO PROTECT OTHERS NO GLOVE NO LOVE. You are trying to say that this guy said “I have HIV” and the other person says “that’s OK I don’t care”. That’s freaking insane. And what about the people he never told? You would have to be crazy or high or both to knowingly allow someone to infect you. There is no cure for AIDS is is not a freaking cold dude.

  • Cam

    @Stache99: said…


    What part of this story did you all miss?….

    What exactly is the crime that he should be so severely punished that you all want for him ? Please enlighten me.

    ________________

    It seems you missed the part where it was indicated there are numerous OTHER incidents that he didn’t disclose his status including to a 15 year old.

    A 15 year old can’t legally consent to sex whether or not he disclosed.

    =

  • Fitz

    The 15 y/o is the issue. But anyone who says “It’s ok, I don’t care” or “I’m a bug chaser”, screw them!

  • BJ McFrisky

    I’d do him.
    Then I’d have to kill him.
    Circle of life, and all that.

  • viveutvivas

    His conviction was overturned because he was innocent. He had disclosed his status.

    The other cases are at this point nothing more than allegations – he has already been falsely accused once – so take a Valium to calm your hysteria and put away your pitchforks, ladies.

  • EdWoody

    While I have no sympathy and in fact undying hatred for this man, his “victims” are not entirely blameless (except for the minor). Everyone knows they should protect themselves when having sex with strangers, and if you don’t, well then you shouldn’t be surprised when you catch something.

  • Rockery

    Yikes poor 15 year old – throw him away for the statutory rape if anything

  • IseeU2

    This guy got caught, think of all the others who are doing this and are not caught. He obviously is not under any health care.

  • oilburner

    He’s hot so he gets a pass in my book plus if ur stupid enough to have unprotected sex then ur stupid enuf 2 get HIV

  • Marvin

    I thought Texas was tough on crime. huh. Guess not.

  • montanom

    How dare people accuse this man to be guilty? (1) THEY (not the accused) consented to have sex WITHOUT properly asking to disclose a status, (2) THEY (not the accused) didn’t properly used a condom.

    “There are separate charges involving Rick and a 15-year-old boy who sneaked out of his house to have sex with Rick.”
    This kid sneaked out of his house! So, if a minor comes to you and you have no fucking clue this is a minor, who’s at fault? Really? What a fucked up country America is.

    “Robert O’Riley says just weeks after their sexual encounter, he came down with flu-like symptoms, and after testing positive for HIV his doctor told him he likely contracted it in the past few weeks. But it took a television report, with Rick’s photo on screen, for O’Riley to learn his alleged infector’s true identity.”

    Oh really? Pointing with the finger is so rude and childish when the accused didn’t actually ask the other for more information… I bet Robert O’Riley just wanted Rick to fuck him raw with no questions asked! So, again, who’s at fault here? I think communication is essential, and ALL parties are at fault. Infected people are also guilty of letting this happen.

  • Matt

    This is what happen when men bugger each other. They are setting each other up for disaster. What about the “monogamous” relationships and one guy winds up HIV positive? This is a lifestyle we should all discourage, condom or no condom. We should live healthy lives and not one HIV test to the next.

Comments are closed.