Main | Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lambda Legal Files Suit On Behalf Of Man Convicted Of Exposing Sex Partner To HIV

Lambda Legal has filed an appeal on behalf of a gay man originally sentenced to 25 years in prison for exposing a sex partner to HIV. The sentence was later reduced to five years of probation. The men used a condom during their one encounter and there was no transmission of HIV. Via press release:
"The law only applies to those who intend to expose others to HIV," said Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. "This conviction cannot stand because someone who engages in safe sex is not guilty of criminal transmission of HIV. Nick's use of a condom clearly indicates that he was protecting his sexual partner from exposure." In June 2008, Rhoades had a one-time sexual encounter with Adam Plendl during which they used a condom. Several days later, Plendl was told by a friend that Rhoades might be HIV-positive, and he contacted the police. The police arrested Rhoades in September 2008, and on the advice of his counsel, he pled guilty. Despite the fact that a condom was used and Mr. Plendl did not contract HIV, Rhoades was convicted of intentionally exposing Plendl to HIV. He received the maximum sentence: 25 years in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender. Several months later, the court suspended his prison sentence, and he was placed on supervised probation for five years. On March 15, 2010, Rhoades filed an Application for Post-Conviction Relief, arguing that he had received ineffective assistance from his counsel who advised him to plead guilty. In December 2011, the court denied the application. Lambda Legal is representing Mr. Rhoades in his appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.

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