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Man charged for knowingly transmitting HIV to women he met on dating sites

Posted at 9:03 PM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 14:01:28-04

FREDERICK, Md. — The Frederick County State's Attorney's Office indicted a man who knowingly transmitted HIV to several women he met on dating sites.

According to officials, the Frederick County Police Department started an investigation in 2017 on 34-year-old Rudolph Jericho Smith after different women told authorities that they believed Smith had infected them with HIV.

During the department's investigation, officials were able to conduct witness interviews which informed them that Smith knew of his HIV-positive status since 2014.

A search warrant for Smith's blood was executed and a detective confirmed his positive status. The department was later notified that Smith continued to meet women on dating sites and had unprotected sex with them without telling them about his status.

Smith has been charged with first degree assault, reckless endangerment, and knowing transfer of HIV. Smith was in violation of Maryland Health - General Section 18-601.1, which states, "an individual who has the human immunodeficiency virus may not knowingly transfer or attempt to transfer the human immunodeficiency virus to another individual."

According to the statute, a person who does knowingly transfer HIV is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both.

The allegations put Smith in violation of state laws against assault since they would constitute engaging "in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another."

The Frederick Police Department is asking anyone who may have had a sexual relationship with Smith around or after July of 2017 to leave contact information on the Frederick Police Department’s Crime tip line. A detective will follow up with possible victims that have not been identified.