Missouri Man Charged With Knowingly Spreading HIV – Up to 300 Possible Victims
Booking photo, Dexter, Mo., Police Department
David Magnum, from Missouri, has told local authorities he has knowingly had unprotected sexual contact with as many as 300 individuals since being diagnosed with HIV in 2003 according to the Associated Press.
Magnum has pled not guilty to knowingly infecting another man with the virus, and prosecutors said more charges are expected. Missouri – one of 37 states were it is illegal to knowingly transmit AIDS to others – has perhaps the nations strictest penalties for those found guilty of these charges, with a maximum of life in prison.
Two years ago Magnum moved to Dexter, Missouri from Dallas. Since his arrival in Dexter he estimates he has had unprotected sexual contact with approximately 60 different persons.
Magnum was detained after he told his roommate, with whom Magnum was intimate with, went to the police. He went to the police after Magnum admitted he was HIV positive, after testing the man soon realized he had contracted the deadly virus as well.
The majority of Magnum’s encounters where the result of Craigslist ads, he told investigators, and he would meet up with men at parks, truck stops, and other remote locations.
Dexter police detective, Cory Mills, said they expect many potential victims were truckers or others passing through the region, and since Mangum had little information about many of the men, investigators are concerned about finding potential victims.
Authorities have turned to the media in an attempt to get word to possible victims of Magnum. County Prosecutor Russell Oliver said more victims have come forward since the media attention, however, he did not provide any numbers.
Since these allegations have come to light there has been an increase in the number of people seeking out HIV testing in Stoddard and surrounding counties. Stoddard typically test one or two parents every week, there have been fifteen individuals come through for testing this past week, said Debbie Pleimling, director of the county’s Health Department.
Local authorities are working along side with Dallas Police. Magnum is currently is jail with a $250,000 cash-only bond. His hearing is September 26th.
Perhaps the most disconcerting aspect of this case is with Magnum engaging in these actions, he now lends credibility to someone like Pat Robinson, who caught a significant amount of criticism for saying the gay community was attempting to spread HIV by cutting people with special rings.
It’s not the epidemic Robinson made it out to be, but even a single case could lead to an “I told you so.”
I am originally from a small town in North Carolina and have recently moved to Richmond. Meaning I am a novice to the ways of Richmond life, but from what I have seen it is a culturally rich environment that I look forward to diving into. My daily hustle consists of playing bass, reading, and hunting for new music. This summer I will be interning with RVA Magazine and GayRVA.com. In the fall I will be transferring to Virginia Commonwealth University where I will major in journalism.
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