HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– Maryland delegate Paul Corderman is working to pass legislation that would place harsher penalties on people who are HIV rape assailants.
According to the Maryland Health Code, if an HIV positive person knowingly or attempts to transmit the disease, it’s considered a misdemeanor charge. This means the person at most would receive a $2500 fine and/or a 3-year prison sentence.
An HIV positive rape suspect could receive a harsher penalty for sexual assault, but would only receive a misdemeanor charge for attempting to pass along the disease. Delegate Corderman doesn’t believe that it is fair.
“If a sexual assault is committed by somebody who is HIV positive, and the only thing you can charge the person with is the assault itself, and a very minor infraction of the possible transmission or the transmission of the disease itself, I find that very concerning. There should be more teeth to that sort of speak,” said Corderman.
The effort to pass the legislation comes after it was recently announced that an HIV man raped a boy on the Appalachian Trail.