Lawyer: HIV assault ruling could end all such military cases

AP News
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Posted: Feb 24, 2015 10:56 AM

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The attorney for a Kansas airman says a ruling by the nation's highest military court that reversed his client's conviction for exposing multiple sex partners to HIV will effectively end such prosecutions in the armed forces.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces on Monday unanimously ruled that prosecutors failed to prove that any of David Gutierrez's acts at swinger parties in Wichita were likely to transmit HIV to his partners.

Defense attorney Kevin McDermott says the ruling overturns a 25-year precedent that allowed military personnel to be convicted of aggravated assault solely on the basis of a positive HIV test.

The court upheld Gutierrez's lesser conviction of assault by battery for offensive touching to which partners did not provide meaningful informed consent.