CLAYTON, Mo. –— A St. Louis County man who has the virus that causes AIDS is facing a charge of attempting to expose another person to HIV infection.
Charges were filed against 43-year-old Robert Smith of St. Ann. He is jailed on $50,000 cash-only bond and does not yet have an attorney.
St. Louis County police say Smith used Craigslist and other social media to contact potential victims. Police say that on Monday, Smith met with an undercover detective and sought to have sex, denying that he was HIV-positive.
Police say there are “no known victims,” but they urge anyone with concerns to come forward.
In a blog post written yesterday for the HIV Justice Network, Edwin J. Bernard calls the case a “new low” for Missouri police, prosecutors, and the media.
“He is now charged with attempted (sexual) HIV exposure,” he writes, “which is, in fact, not actually a crime in Missouri. It is only a crime to attempt to donate blood, organs or sperm knowing you are HIV-positive.”
“Surely what this man is alleged to have done is not a crime,” he concludes. “This is clearly entrapment.”