Randal Brown reaches plea deal in HIV assault

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A city man likely will spend three years in prison for having unprotected sex with a 20-year-old college student while knowing he is infected with HIV, which causes AIDS.

Randal Brown, 23, of Youngstown, entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors Wednesday before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

Brown, who is being held in the Mahoning County jail on a $1 million bond, had been charged with one count of felonious assault after authorities say he had unprotected sex with a girlfriend while knowing he is HIV-positive.

The felonious assault charge could land Brown in prison for eight years, but prosecutors and attorneys Ronald Yarwood and J. Gerald Ingram, representing Brown, have agreed to a recommendation of three years in prison. Judge Krichbaum is not compelled to follow that recommendation at sentencing.

According to police, Brown had been involved 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 last 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 his status since he was 15.

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

Prosecutors 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.

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

The case involving this victim has been resolved, but additional victims could lead to additional charges against Brown.

Brown will be back in court for sentencing May 3.

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