New York High Court Rejects Aggravated Assault Charge in HIV Spitting Case

New York High Court Rejects Aggravated Assault Charge in HIV Spitting Case
June 7, 2012
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Today, New York Court of Appeals dismissed an aggravated assault conviction based on HIV status and remitted the case back to Herkimer County Court for resentencing.

"This is a terrific development. The Court clarified that saliva - like other body parts - cannot be considered a dangerous instrument under New York penal law," said Scott Schoettes, HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal. "That means that other bodily substances that are naturally present - like a person's blood or semen - also would not support a prosecution based on use of a 'deadly instrument.' This decision is a great step forward in the fight against criminalizing the lives of people with HIV."

Read more about the case, People of the State of New York v. Plunkett

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