South Dakota Student Who Pleaded Guilty to HIV Exposure is Found Guilty of Escape From Jail
South Dakota Circuit Judge Tim Tucker on Tuesday found Nikko Briteramos, the 19-year-old Si Tanka Huron University student who pleaded guilty in July to charges of knowingly exposing a woman to HIV, guilty of escape from jail after he violated a condition of his suspended sentence, the Associated Press reports (Kafka, Associated Press, 9/17). Briteramos on Aug. 29 was ordered to break no more laws, spend 120 days in jail, refrain from having unprotected sex without informing partners of his HIV-positive status and perform 200 hours of community service, in lieu of a five-year jail sentence. Tucker also ordered Briteramos to continue his college education and said he would permit him to leave jail to attend classes. On the same day as his sentencing, Briteramos was permitted to leave jail to register for one class but was told to "return immediately to jail." Briteramos returned more than five hours later and subsequently tested positive for marijuana. According to Beadle County State Attorney Mike Moore, Briteramos visited a friend and spent more than one hour at his own house during his release (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/5). Briteramos denied smoking marijuana. Tucker said that there was no reason for him to go to his house and the house of a friend and ruled that the "extension of his absence amounted to escape." Tucker "refused" to find Briteramos guilty on the marijuana charge. Tucker will sentence Briteramos on Oct. 1. He could receive the five-year jail sentence that Tucker suspended last month (Associated Press, 9/17). Briteramos is the first person convicted under a 2000 South Dakota law that makes it a felony to intentionally expose people to HIV (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.