California Man Convicted of Child Sex Charges Receives Longer Sentence for Knowing He Was HIV-Positive
An HIV-positive California man was sentenced to 17-and-a-half years in prison for "plann[ing] to meet a boy for unprotected sex," marking the first time that a federal defendant has received a longer prison sentence for knowing he or she was HIV-positive while planning to engage in unprotected sex with a minor, the Associated Press reports (Neumeister, Associated Press, 11/6). John Weisser of Oakland, Calif., tried to arrange a sexual encounter with a person he believed was a 12-year-old boy whom he met online (Barrett, New York Post, 11/6). In online chat rooms, Weisser "indicated that he intended to leave his condoms at ... home" when he flew to New York to have sex with the boy. However, the boy was a fictional creation of investigators, and Weisser was arrested in April 2000. Weisser was sentenced on federal child sex charges, but could have faced "as little as five years and three months" for the indictment. District Judge Richard Casey said that Weisser "poses a significant risk to children" because he "knew he was infected with HIV but nonetheless intended to engage in unprotected sexual acts with a minor" (Associated Press, 11/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.