Is Charlie Sheen in legal jeopardy if he failed to disclose his HIV status to sex partners?
The Los Angeles Police Department has received no complaints against Charlie Sheen alleging he had unprotected sex without disclosing his HIV-positive status to his partners, officials said Tuesday.
In California, it is against the law for a person to willfully expose others to the human immunodeficiency virus. The crime is punishable by up to eight years in prison.
Sheen revealed Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” show that he learned he was HIV-positive four years ago.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said he was not aware of any complaints or reports against Sheen involving allegations of potential HIV infection.
At least one of Sheen’s partners said Tuesday that the former “Two and a Half Men” star did not tell her about his HIV status before they had sex in 2011. In fact, she said Sheen told her that he was clean.
“There were times we didn’t use condoms,” the woman, Bree Olson, told radio host Howard Stern.
Olson said she remembered thinking at the time that “he is now my live-in boyfriend. … I feel a lot of people make this mistake.”
She said they had unprotected sex as well as sex with lambskin condoms. These condoms have tiny holes that block sperm but are still large enough for HIV to pass through.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that these natural membrane condoms do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Olson said the situation lasted for a year. During that time, “he knew” of his HIV status, she told Stern.
Olson, an actress who reportedly appeared in hundreds of adult films, said she was not HIV-positive herself.
Olson’s comments contradicted those made by Sheen on the “Today” show. When asked by Matt Lauer whether he had had unprotected sex since his diagnosis, Sheen responded, “Yes, but the two people that I did that with were under the care of my doctor and were completely warned ahead of time.”
It is rare for someone to face criminal charges for exposing others to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. But it has happened.
In May, an HIV-positive man in San Diego was convicted of having sex with a partner who did not know his status. He was sentenced to six months in jail.
Thomas Miguel Guerra, 30, pleaded no contest to violating a state health code that says, “any person afflicted with any contagious, infectious, or communicable disease who willfully exposes himself or herself to another person … is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
According to court documents, Guerra told a man he had met through a dating website that he was HIV-negative. The two had unprotected sex during a relationship that lasted several months in 2013.
Deputy City Atty. Jill Cristich said that the man was infected by Guerra.
“The victim’s life is shortened,” she told a superior court judge during Guerra’s sentencing hearing. “He was deceived.”
In his “Today” show appearance, Sheen alleged that people who knew about his HIV status threatened to go public with the news unless he paid them millions of dollars.
But several sources in local law enforcement said that as of Tuesday morning, the actor had not made any claims of extortion. However, Sheen could have made such an allegation in numerous other jurisdictions, they said.
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