News (USA)

Former student charged with exposing two other students to HIV

BROOKINGS, S.D. — A former South Dakota State University student is accused of intentionally exposing two other students to the virus that causes AIDS.

HIVDemetrius Colaites, 19, is charged with two counts of intentional exposure to HIV infection and one count of sexual contact with a person incapable of consent. He faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison on the three charges.

An 18-year-old student claims Colaites had unprotected sex with him and did not tell the student he was HIV positive, court documents show. Colaites is also accused of having sexual contact with a 19-year-old student, who claims he was too drunk to give consent. He is being held in jail on $20,000 bond.

The case is a reality check, SDSU student Jordan Determan told KELO-TV.

“It’s scary. That’s a life-changing event,” he said, responding to the idea of this happening to a fellow student.

A school spokesman told KELO in a statement that Colaites is no longer attending SDSU.

“Additionally, the university has numerous programs and services to educate students and ensure their wellness needs. We encourage our students to seek and utilize those services,” said Mike Lockrem, the school’s director of marketing and communication.

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SDSU sophomore Savanna Ihnen said the case should convince people to learn more about HIV and how to practice safe sex.

“They try to educate us as much as possible, but it’s not really known around here, so we don’t talk about it on a daily basis. Now that he’s bringing it into the picture, I guess it’s going to be talked about now,” Ihnen said.

Court documents say Colaites has been HIV positive since birth

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