Davis v. Warden, London Correctional Institution, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70515 (S.D. Ohio, June 1, 2015); adopted by, writ of habeas corpus dismissed, certificate of appealability denied, judgment entered, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90500 (S.D. Ohio July 7, 2015)
OHIO – U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael R. Merz denied a petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by Andre Davis, who had been convicted on several counts of felonious assault, for engaging in sexual contact with numerous women without disclosing that he was HIV positive, and is serving an aggregate sentence of 32 years. Several of Davis’s arguments were disposed of on the ground that they did not present federal constitutional issues, but were solely concerned with issues of state law, and thus could not serve as the basis for a habeas corpus petition. However, Judge Merz acknowledged that a conviction based on insufficient evidence would present a Due Process issue. Davis argued that there was insufficient evidence that he knew he was infected with HIV at the time of the charged sexual encounters. The evidence introduced included a laboratory report showing a positive HIV antibody test result, testimony that Davis had texted somebody that he was HIV positive, and evidence that Davis had signed a document required for counseling at an AIDS organization indicating that he was requesting “medical case management services supportive services offered by STOP AIDS.” Judge Merz rejected the contention that this was insufficient evidence of Davis’s state of knowledge to support a conviction, and specifically rejected Davis’s sophistical argument that testing positive for HIV antibodies was not sufficient to prove that somebody was infected with HIV. (An excerpt from the summary provided by Summer 2015 Lesbian/Gay Law Notes).