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Trial opens in HIV case


![][1]Trial began this morning for a 30-year-old Lawrence man charged with exposing four women to HIV in the past year.During an opening statement, a prosecutor characterized Robert W. Richardson II as someone who wanted to live a normal life -- and to him, that meant having unprotected sex. "The defendant was not normal, ladies and gentlemen," Assistant Dist. Atty. Trent Krug said. "The defendant was afflicted with HIV, and he kept those scarlet letters a secret from the four women you're going to hear today."Defense attorney Thomas Johnson said in his opening statement that "this is not a sex case," but rather a case about Richardson's intentions and the scientific information about how HIV is passed. Even though Richardson did not use a condom with three of the women- the fourth alleges he took a condom off during sex -Johnson said the women were protected by Richardson's use of anti-retroviral drugs.He pointed out that in a November 2005 lab test, Richardson had such a small quantity of the virus in his blood- a "viral load" of less than 50 - that it couldn't be pinpointed."At these levels... science just doesn't know" whether the disease can even be transmitted, he said.If Richardson had intended to expose the women, Johnson said, he would have stopped taking the drugs.But the first witness, Richardson's personal doctor, Christopher Penn, testified it was possible for someone to be exposed to the virus through intercourse even at those low levels."I can't say that there was no potential for exposure, based on the numbers that I have," Penn said. Penn, who has treated Richardson since 2003, testified about the fluctuating levels of the virus found in Richardson's body at different times.The women all had sex with Richardson between August 2005 and January 2006. In February 2005, a test showed Richardson had a "viral load" of 11,700, and he was placed on a new drug regimen. In November 2005 it had dropped to less than 50, although Penn said the virus was still detected.In June 2006, a test showed the "viral load" had increased to 2,025, and in August 2006 it was 826, Penn said.The doctor said the low level indicated by Richardson's November 2005 test could not predict how much of the virus was in his body in later months.-contributed by [Eric Weslander.][2] [1]: http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/photos/2006/03/24/Richardson_robert_t180.jpg [2]: http://www2.ljworld.com/staff/eric_weslander


Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

who cares what the lab says your viral load is. If you have the flu do you walk in to a nicu and start coughing sneezing and throwing up?

waswade 11 years, 8 months ago

How can you have unprotected sex and and not expose someone. He knew he has HIV, he knows how its passed...hello...he knowingly exposed those ladies.

kujeeper 11 years, 8 months ago

who would have sex with him? were these women blind?

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

If the women knew and accepted the risks then I am not sure a crime has been committed. I still think the statute is unconstitutionally vague, even though Judge Six disagreed (his opinion is the one that counts) and despite mens rea. In any event, if he is convicted he is likely to get probation with time served.

What ever happened to the accused baby killer case, Jay D. Decker, the one that was dismissed when the last witness for the State was about to testify. Wasn't there some nonsense about "newly discovered" evidence? Wasn't the case going to be refiled?

Come on sybil, where is your nose for offical corruption and your ear for gossip from unnamed sources? Enquiring minds want to know!

Kelly Powell 11 years, 8 months ago

no, he was thinking about spreading his affliction...Normal people talk to their partners about this before they have sex....I have known many people that have relations with a hiv partner and they are happy....His case is an example of somebody lashing out at the world.

monkeywrench1969 11 years, 8 months ago

I think her personalities are fighting with one another

concernedparent 11 years, 8 months ago

macon, sometimes I think you have no idea what the hell is going on. This doesn't have anything to do with 'makin babies'

Steve Jacob 11 years, 8 months ago

Let me ask this. If you have herpes, but don't currently have signs of it, would you tell your partner? Yes! (well I hope that's your answer). And is being HIV+ ALOT worse then herpes?

concernedparent 11 years, 8 months ago

no actually, I'm a parent because I want to be a parent. I'm very aware of what you're trying to say, I'm just telling you, it has nothing to do with this article. None of these women have had a baby that is this man's ( or if they have, it hasn't been made public). It has nothing to do with us paying for kids that these people can't take care of. Sometimes I think you type to see your own print and name on the screen.

Bone777 11 years, 8 months ago

Macon is just mad because he doesn't know who his "Daddy" is and he is trying to project his anger on to others. If not for unprotected sex, we wouldn't have Macon to brighten everyone's day.

Thank you Mamma Macon for your drunken' night of lovin'.

bthom37 11 years, 8 months ago

Good lord macon, if you're going to post in some sort of retarded poetic style, at least pick one and stick to it. Your posts would be a lot more amusing in hexameter.

Jeanette Reiling 11 years, 8 months ago

Isn't it true that anytime you have unprotected sex with anyone these days, you are taking a chance? The desire for sex does not always insure that a person will be honest. When you have unprotected sex, you are taking a chance with anyone! Unfortunately, these women had unprotected sex with a very dishonest individual who was only thinking of his desires at the time. However, I still feel he should be punished, the women may be doomed with serious health problems, medical bills and need for care later on in their lives because of their less than sensible decision and the individual they made the choice to be with for whatever reason.

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