Archive for Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Trials ordered for HIV exposure

Suspect may face new charges in third case

May 3, 2006

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Two women took the witness stand Tuesday to describe having sexual contact with a man they say knowingly exposed them to HIV.

One, a 21-year-old Kansas University student, said she met 29-year-old Robert W. Richardson II through KU's Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics. She said she had unprotected sex with him three times in early January and didn't learn until afterward that he was HIV-positive.

"I assumed if someone has HIV, they wouldn't have unprotected sex with people," she said at a hearing on Richardson's case in Douglas County District Court.

A second victim, age 40, testified she met Richardson in mid-January through an online dating site, OkCupid.com, and that she learned he was HIV-positive shortly after meeting him.

She testified she had sex with him Jan. 20 on the condition that he wear a condom. But during their encounter, she said, he removed the condom without her noticing.

When she later noticed the condom was gone, she said, the encounter stopped.

After hearing evidence, Judge Stephen Six ruled there was enough evidence to try Richardson for exposing each of the women to HIV, a low-level felony. As the hearing ended, deputies arrested Richardson on a new charge involving a third victim, but details of that case weren't available Tuesday.

Previously, defense attorney Thomas Johnson had said he expected more charges to be filed.

If the cases go to trial, they're likely to hinge on Richardson's mind-set at the time of the encounters. Prosecutors must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt: that Richardson knew he had the virus, that he had sex with the women and that he intended to expose them to it.

Johnson pointed out that the odds of the women actually contracting the virus were low. Both have tested negative for HIV.

"I know that my chance of getting it is very low, but any chance is still a crime," the 21-year-old woman said.

"Isn't that for a jury to determine?" Johnson asked her.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 3 months ago

Where would we be without you, Marion?

(Most of us are willing to find out.)

i_have_only_valid_opinions 9 years, 3 months ago

Would the charges be converted into assault or something stronger if the one of the victims ever tests positive? Or is the initial verdict the final verdict for the case? Pardon the naivete.

What a stupid bastard this guy is.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 3 months ago

If a man walked up to people at random and shot them in the head, we'd call that guy a monster. THIS man is attempting to kill by a long-drawn-out process of infecting them with a disease. Truly, this is a whole new level of "sick".

I'm guessing that the guy is a misogynist who first expected women to bring him meaning through sex, and now blames a woman for "giving him" the disease. If the didn't get it from being raped or from a transfusion, then he gave it to himself.

Be a man, dude.

Michael Birch 9 years, 3 months ago

Don't ask me why people don't use condoms!

Steve Jacob 9 years, 3 months ago

He's going to die, and does not care about the rest. Lock him up.

Confrontation 9 years, 3 months ago

He should get life in prison, and the women should get a kick in the head for having unprotected sex with any man without knowing his status.

063255 9 years, 3 months ago

I met Robert in the fall at a local Lawrence coffee shop. He mentioned his age which was the same as my daughter who was with me at the time. I occasionally would see him in the coffee shop and we would chat about polictics. The last time I saw him, he invited me to a party at his house in North Lawrence in the 300 block of Lincoln St. I did not pay attention to the details of his address and how to get there as I had no intention of going to the party. He told me he realized I had children older than he but could not help but want to "go out with me". I laughed and suggested my daughters would be more appropriate interests. He said he thought not, that I was who he wanted to be with. That was the last time I saw him. He was always articulate and knowledgable during our coffee shop discussions. He told me he worked for the state as a biologist. He was so well spoken and charming I would never have believed he was such a sociopath. Of course, that is what makes a sociopath so successful. I am grateful he did not date any of my daughters and know there must be many women who have been exposed to HIV by him. He fooled me and I was not on drugs and as a community health educator with a degree in the field I have taught many classes on the behavorial and technical aspects involved in the education and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. If the facts are he is HIV positive, he should be charged with attempted murder. I feel victimized even though I did not fall prey to his charms. Those who think women are responsible for doing so never met him. No one deserves to be exposed to an STD by someone who knows they have one under any circumstances. Of course everyone should use condoms but anytime you have sex, even with your spouse, you could be exposed to an STD. Condoms do not prevent the spread of many STD's, they also break, and married couples usually do not use them. Yet I have counseled many couples who thought they were in a safe and monogamous relationship only to find out at least one partner wasn't playing by the same rules. So all you judgemental cretins who think it could not happen to you, get educated! And for whatever it's worth, let this be a wake up call for those who do not even try to have "safer" sex by using condoms. When sex is involved, thinking usually isn't and what you think you know about someone's sexually history may be a tale of lies. If you think anyone is stupid to knowlingly have sex with someone who is HIV positive by using a condom think about this: When you are having sex with a condom, do you know for a fact your partner has not been exposed since his or her last STD screening? Unless the answer is a definitve yes why do you think the condom will keep you safer than someone who knows their partner is infected? I'm not suggesting NOT using condoms, but for the love of all that is sane, do not think anyone deserves to die because of their sexual encounters!

one_of_the_lucky_ones 9 years, 3 months ago

Wow! I've seriously been hiding under a rock or something...I haven't chatted to Robert since January. 5th and I thought about him from time to time wondering what he was up to. Imagine my surprise when I seen his pic on the news tonight and he's being prosecuted for infecting women with HIV knowingly.

That's just terrible! I don't know why Robert never wanted to meet me..perhaps he did and I've just forgotten,but luckily I never got involved with him for more than just a friendly chat.

Like the previous poster said he's very well spoken and charming...Someone you may never suspect that would commit such a terrible crime. I knew he was an atheist ,but now it makes me wonder if he was simply because someone gave him HIV and he wanted to infect as many people as possible because of his hatred for God letting it happen to him.

This is an excerpt of my last chat with Robert: (ME talking to Robert about his GF): so you two actually lived together? poeticheterosapien (1/5/2006 6:52:17 PM): No. I had a GF for the past 4 years, though we'd been "open" the last 2 1/2 of them. She just wasn't satisfied with me-only, so I told her she could sleep with other guys while I was out of town, since I was gone so much. poeticheterosapien (1/5/2006 6:52:57 PM): But that wasn't enough, she wanted to fall in love with others... and I wasn't dating anybody but her. So when she told me she wanted me to be boyfriend #1 of a list of guys, I said no. And that was the end.

Hmm I wonder if this could be used as evidence that he was lying to women even on the net....Clearly he slept with several women during this time.

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