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DECISIONS n EVIDENCE testimony from past sexual partners who were HIV-positive was admissible in the criminal trial of a man charged with knowingly spreading HIV to multiple women, the Indiana Court of Appeals said on April 2. Johnson v. Indiana, No. 34A05-0205-CR-215. Larry Johnson was convicted on two counts of failure of carriers of dangerous communicable diseases to warn persons at risk, a felony. His conviction was based on knowingly infecting his sex partners with HIV. Among the evidence presented at trial was testimony from his HIV-positive former girlfriends. Johnson appealed, arguing that the girlfriends’ testimony was inadmissible character evidence. Indiana’s intermediate-level appeals court agreed that the testimony would have been inadmissible to show that Johnson had a propensity for having sex with many people, and thus must have had sex here, too. “However,” the court said, “this evidence was introduced to establish the inference that Johnson was HIV-positive and knew that he was positive for HIV at the time he engaged in sexual relationships” with two of the testifying victims.

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