Archive for Thursday, November 23, 2006

Prison term given for HIV exposure

Cases still pending in other jurisdictions

November 23, 2006


A Lawrence man convicted of exposing three women to HIV received a 32-month prison sentence Wednesday.

But Robert W. Richardson II told the judge that putting him behind bars won't do any good.

"He does not care if he spreads his disease," one of Richardson's victims wrote in a letter that was read aloud in court. "He created a false reality that he could not transmit HIV, which rationalized his actions."

Another of the victims said, "The stove was hot and he decided to throw caution to the wind and touch it anyway."

Last month jurors found the 30-year-old Richardson guilty of four counts of HIV exposure involving three women. He was found not guilty of exposing a fourth woman.

Judge Stephen Six ordered him to serve 32 months in prison on one of the charges. For the three others, he ordered 56 months of probation with an underlying sentence of four years in prison if he violates probation.

But Richardson faces the possibility of still more prison time.

Another woman has charges pending against Richardson in Johnson County, Mo., and Richardson has cases pending against him in Emporia and Kansas City, Kan., involving some of the same women from his Douglas County trial.

Richardson apologized to those he had "touched with fear" during a speech before he was sentenced. But he said that while his actions might have been unethical, they were not criminal.



"I was wrong to hide from those I cared about and wrong to make safety decisions for them," he said. "Fighting to put me in a cage will do far, far more harm than good."

His attorney, Thomas Johnson, argued for probation, claiming that none of the women was "seriously injured" because they all have tested negative for HIV. He also said they engaged in "reckless sex."

"It takes two to tango, so to speak," he said.

Victims said they were offended by the suggestion that they weren't harmed. Assistant District Attorney Amy McGowan said, "injury isn't just physical."

At trial, jurors said they were appalled by Richardson's deceptions with the women, most of all his explanation that his health problems were caused by a heart condition. He claimed he was being truthful by saying he had a "HAART" condition, or Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy - his name for his HIV-treatment drug regimen.

The case apparently is the first time an HIV-exposure charge had been taken to trial in Kansas.

Victims say they believe there may be other women who had unprotected sex with Richardson but who haven't come forward.

Richardson had two complaints brought against him while he lived in Lake Charles, La., where he went to college. Sgt. Mark Kraus, a spokesman for the Lake Charles Police Department said that in 2001, a woman filed a report to his department alleging that Richardson had exposed her to the virus, but that it turned out to have happened in a different jurisdiction. He didn't have information on how that case ended.

Around the same time, another woman came forward and filed a report to Lake Charles Police, he said. It was eventually submitted to prosecutors, but the case stalled after the District Attorney's office there said the victim was uncooperative, Kraus said.

Richardson went into the trial with no significant criminal history, but he received prison time because he now has the highest criminal history score possible under Kansas sentencing guidelines: three or more felony "person crimes."


sublime 11 years, 7 months ago

"reckless sex"---to say the least.He's an ugly bastard. Im surprised anyone had sex with him in the first place.

Steve Mechels 11 years, 7 months ago

"But he said that while his actions might have been unethical, they were not criminal"

Idiot, your actions were illegal, that makes you a criminal. Guess you will be joining all of the other innocent people in the slammer.

I wish good luck and health to all of Richardson's victims.

Jillian Andrews 11 years, 7 months ago

He'll probably end up getting tax-payer funded health care better than he would have in the community. So much for punishment. I have a sneaking feeling he'll be out on the prowl again before we know it.

Dani Davey 11 years, 7 months ago

Does anyone know, will this conviction require him to register as a sex offender?

Warren6032 11 years, 7 months ago

The guy is only getting 32 months. Then he'll be back doing the same thing again (probably will move someplace where he's unknown). He should be locked up far longer. Maybe his next trial sentence will tax a harsher sentence on him?

50YearResident 11 years, 7 months ago

He should have been given at least 10 years, 32 mo is like a slap on the hand. Don't forget spreading aids is giving the woman involved a life sentance. The person knowingly having unprotected sex with anyone without disclosing the HIV should be charged with attempted murder.

Warren6032 11 years, 7 months ago

Fred Phelps should be protesting this guy

FormerCentralKansan 11 years, 7 months ago

This guy should be given a "registered sex offender" status so it follows him for YEARS no matter where he moves. He obviously feels no guilt about what he did and his lawyer continues to blame the victims. Those 2 are both weasels IMO. I hope he enjoys prison...and I hope his fellow inmates make his life miserable every day he is there.

myunitedstatesofWHATEVA 11 years, 7 months ago

this is so stupid.. the women should know better than to have unprotected sex with a stranger.. its like "buyer beware".. and they all tested negative so no harm was done.. what emotional trama could come from this, was the sex really that bad?.. they got lucky and they dont have HIV or AIDS.. be thankful and leave the poor guy alone

PeteJayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Wow, I can see why women fell for an Adonis like Richardson...just look at that picture!

Seriously though, anyone who says "the AIDS" without irony really shouldn't have access to the internet.

PeteJayhawk 11 years, 7 months ago

Oh wait, I guess that comment was ironic. I hope.

mae 11 years, 7 months ago


the women tested negative now, but as most sexually active people know, hiv tests can show years down the line.

this guy should go pretty quick in prison i hope. and noone at his funeral, incinerate the ....

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