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

Browse By

Blog Search

Find Your State

Know the laws in your state that protect LBGT people and people living with HIV.
June 7, 2012

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