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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: sexually transmitted diseases

Cops: Herpes fear led to pot robbery

An invitation to smoke marijuana turned into a robbery last weekend in Spokane because the suspect feared contracting herpes from a water pipe.

Aziem L. Richardson invited the teens to an apartment at 1119 W. Augusta Ave., to smoke marijuana in celebration of his 19th birthday, which was Saturday.

Richardson left after several minutes and returned with a shotgun and threatened the teens, telling them “I heard your or your girlfriend has herpes and we have been sharing a bong,” according to a search warrant. “If I get herpes, I'm gong to kill you both.”

Richardson, who has two previous felony convictions for robbery as a juvenile, ordered the men to empty their pockets and stole a wallet and cellphones, police said.

Police used a search warrant to retrieve the stolen property from the apartment just after midnight Sunday, as well as a shotgun, bong and shotgun shells.

Richardson remains in jail on $30,000 bond for first-degree robbery.

$100k bond for HIV assault suspect

A Spokane Valley teenager with HIV remains in jail on $100,000 bond, accused of having unprotected sex with two girls. 

Edward I. Casto, 19, told his 15-year-old girlfriend he had HIV when their relationship began in May but didn’t use a condom when he had sex with her and didn’t tell her friend, also a minor, that he was infected. The friend had unprotected sex with Casto at his apartment at 12710 E. Shannon.

Police seized seized computers, an iPhone and other electronics Tuesday after learning Casto may have filmed the sexual encounters. Casto was arrested on two counts of first-degree assault.

Casto’s girlfriend told police she knew h had HIV but didn’t tell her friend, according to a probable cause affidavit supporting two counts of first-degree assault in Casto. He was ordered to stay in jail on $100,000 bail after appearing in Spokane County Superior Court Wednesday.

Police believe other girls may have had sex with Casto without knowing he has HIV. Possible victims are asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Casto has known since he was 13 that he’s had HIV since birth, police said. His arrest comes less than a week after another Spokane Valley man, Zuriel E. Roush, 23, was sentenced to 87 months in prison for lying to his sex partner about his HIV status. His lawyer said he could be released in about five years.

Man w/ HIV gets prison time for assault

An HIV-positive Spokane man who lied to his sex partner about his condition will spend at least the next five years in prison.

Zuriel E. Roush, 23, was sentenced to at least 87 months in prison but will be credited for 17 months already served in jail and is eligible for time off for good behavior.

“He could be out in about five years,” said his lawyer, Terence Ryan.

Roush pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree assault with sexual motivation.

Roush had told the victim, a married man with children, he was not HIV positive, but the man did not contract the virus from their encounter, Ryan said.

Roush was arrested in May 2009. A friend told police that Roush, a fast food worker, met men on the website manhunt.com and had anonymous, unprotected sex in People’s Park without disclosing he was HIV positive.

Roush was charged with two counts of first-degree assault, but Ryan said the second charge was dismissed because the other alleged victim was not truthful.

“It was somebody who was jumping on the bandwagon after the charges hit the press,” Ryan said.

Roush, who took special-education classes in school and underwent a mental evaluation after his arrest, apologized for his crime at his sentencing last week, Ryan said.

Roush is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and was ordered by Judge Maryann Moreno not to frequent sex websites and to disclose his HIV status to all sex partners. Prosecutors recommended the low end of the standard sentencing range - 87.75 months - but Roush could serve up to 10 years under the state’s indeterminate sentencing law for sex offenders. He’ll undergo assessments when he’s eligible for release.

Past coverage:

May 29, 2009: Dozens may face HIV risk

May 21, 2009: HIV-positive man accused of assault

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