Michigan Man Receives 10-15 Year Prison Sentence for Not Informing Partner of HIV-Positive Status Before Sexual Contact
Bay County, Mich., resident Michael Holder was sentenced Monday to serve 10 to 15 years in prison for failing to inform his partner that he was HIV-positive prior to having sex, the Bay City Times reports. Holder is the first person in Bay County charged with failure to inform a partner of HIV status. He was convicted of the charges in October and was sentenced on Monday by Bay County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Bielawski. Before being sentenced Holder said his rights had been violated, that he was "the victim of unfair persecution" and that local police had "singled [him] out and targeted" him. "A poor, African-American, HIV-positive man stood up and spoke against a corrupt system, where Democratic politics led to pre-determined justice," he said. Bay County Assistant Prosecutor Barbara Hayward played tapes of Holder urging the alleged victim in the case to testify that she was aware Holder had HIV before they "became intimate." Holder claims that prosecutors "pressured" the woman into bringing charges against him. The alleged victim tried to have the charges dropped and "continues to support Holder," the Bay City Times reports. Holder has 42 days to appeal the sentence and indicated that he is planning an appeal (Harmon, Bay City Times, 12/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.