October 28, 1997 in Nation/World

N.Y. Police Suspect Man Infected Nine With Hiv

Carolyn Thompson Associated Press

An HIV-positive man who traded drugs for sex with young women and teens he approached in schools and parks infected at least nine of them with the AIDS virus, authorities said Monday.

At least one other person was infected by one of the man’s sex partners, and at least 70 others, some as young as 13, may have been exposed to the virus in Chautauqua County in rural western New York, health officials said.

“He liked to lurk around the edges of schools or parks, maybe where kids would be playing basketball, and pick out young ladies who may, for one reason or another, be in a risk-taking mode,” county Health Commissioner Robert Berke said.

“Sex for drugs appears to be implicated in at least some of the contacts,” he said.

Nushawn Williams, 20, infected at least three women and possibly a fourth before learning he was HIV positive in September 1996, Berke said. But he continued having unprotected sex and directly infected at least six more before leaving the region in January, Berke said.

Williams, in jail since Sept. 23 in New York City on drug charges, faces an arrest warrant from Chautauqua County for statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.

District Attorney James Subjack said he also would pursue charges of reckless endangerment and first-degree assault against Williams for each person he allegedly infected. Each of those charges carry a maximum prison term of 25 years.

“It takes an individual with no regard for human life to do something like this,” said Subjack.

Officials counted 28 people who had direct sexual contact with Williams and 53 cases of secondary contact - people who had sex with any of the 28. Seventeen other cases were still being studied, they said.

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