An HIV-positive has been discovered to be intentionally spreading the virus to unsuspecting women. Named Rudolph Smith, the man has been mainly targeting women on dating apps and websites.
MR Smith, was arrested, found guilt and charged on Monday after an investigation process that took 21 months. He was charged by a court in Fredrick’s area of Maryland.
The Frederick Police Department received revealed getting a tip-off about Mr Smith’s behavior in the month of July 2017. It was reported that the 34 years old man had been searching for women on online dating apps and websites. He would then g ahead to have sexual relations with the identified men, oblivious of his status.
According to a local newspaper outlet called Fredrick’s News-Post, a complaint was reported by a woman who tested positive for the virus after sexual relations with Smith. Since the report was filed, area police have managed to identify three more alleged victims of the mans’s actions. The victims claim to have met with Smith on the Backpage and Bumple dating app.
Rudolph Smith was charged and indicted with four accounts of first degree assault, reckless endangerment and purposeful transfer of HIV virus to another person.
Although the charge has been filed there before, Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said it is highly unusual.
‘It only comes up every several years that we’ll see a case like this,’ Charlie Smith told the News-Post.
The evidence to secure Rudolph Smith’s arrest took a considerable effort to obtain, owing to the highly sensitive nature of the case and the difficulty of tracing victims through numerous dating sites.
Detectives also had to file requests for medical records in order to confirm their timeline and victims’ statements, Lt Kirk Henneberry, who oversaw the investigation, told Frederick News-Post.
In order to secure a conviction, prosecutors must provide irrefutable and watertight evidence that the suspect knew they were HIV-positive.
Smith received his diagnosis in 2014 and he later confirmed his HIV status to detectives, Frederick News-Post reported citing a Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office press release.
Knowingly transferring or attempting to transfer HIV to another person carries a $2,500 fine and up to three years in prison.
Police have asked anyone who may have had a sexual relationship with Smith around or after July 2017 other potential victims to come forward.