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HIV-positive Randal Brown charged with assault

Published: Sat, November 5, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.


By John W. Goodwin Jr.



Officials are asking that anyone who has had intimate relations with a 23-year-old HIV-positive man accused of having unprotected sex with a local woman seek medical treatment and contact police.

Randal Brown is in Mahoning County jail on a $1 million bond. He has been charged with one count of felonious assault after authorities say he had unprotected sex with a girlfriend knowing he is HIV positive.

Brown was arrested earlier this week. Police found him working and living in North Carolina, where he fled after the felonious-assault complaint was filed against him Aug. 30.

According to police, Brown had been involved romantically with the 20-year-old college student since December 2010. He reportedly had been having sex with the woman without revealing his health status.

The woman reportedly became ill in this July. It was shortly after she became ill that Brown told her of his HIV status, saying that he had been born with the illness and has known of is status since he was 15.

City Prosecutor Jay Macejko described the circumstances around the case as “scary” but said the 20-year-old woman can be viewed as a hero because she came to police and possibly stopped Brown from putting other unsuspecting women at risk.

“This woman had an intimate relationship with this guy and started to develop medical complications. He discouraged her from seeking medical treatment, and when she persisted, that is when he disclosed that he has an infectious deadly disease,” Macejko said. “It is clear from the conversation that he knew had this disease. ... This is a very serious health situation we are dealing with.”

The victim told police Brown may have been having sex with other women and did not disclose his health status. Macejko said any woman who has been intimately involved with Brown is strongly encouraged to seek medical attention and contact police.

If convicted, Brown could be sentenced to eight years in prison. Macejko said there could be an additional felonious-assault charge, and possible eight years in prison, for each person with whom Brown has knowingly had sexual contact.

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