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HIV-positive man sentenced to three years for assault

Published: Fri, May 18, 2012 @ 12:05 a.m.


Randal Brown, right, faces sentencing with his attorney, Ronald Yarwood, in the courtroom of Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. The judge sentenced Brown to three years in prison Thursday for having unprotected sex with a woman while knowing he was HIV-positive.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



A Youngstown man has drawn a three-year prison term for having unprotected sex with a woman while knowingly infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Randal Brown, 23, appeared for sentencing Thursday before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. He previously had pleaded guilty to felonious assault, a crime that could have landed him in prison for up to eight years.

Prosecutors and attorney Ronald Yarwood, representing Brown, reached an agreed-upon recommendation of three years in prison in the plea agreement.

Judge Krichbaum noted that a pre-sentence investigation prepared by the adult parole authority recommended Brown serve no jail time, but be released on probation.

“This type of crime can be viewed as one where you should receive more time, but the probation department sees it differently; they don’t think you should go at all,” he said. “The victim in this case is victimized more than once. ... She is made to suffer in a way no one should have to suffer, so you deserve to go to the penitentiary.”

The judge said it is also noteworthy that Brown has no prior criminal record and that he was born with or “inherited” the illness. Judge Krichbaum ultimately decided to adopt the recommended three-year sentence. Brown will get credit for the 211 days he has spent in the Mahoning County jail on a $1 million bond.

Brown chose not to make any statements in court before his sentencing.

Michael McBride, an assistant county prosecutor, said prosecutors decided to go forward with the plea agreement because it saved the victim from having to appear in court. He said the woman is still a college student and attempting to get on with her life.

“The victim did not want to appear, and this seemed to be a just resolution to this case,” he said.

McBride said the 20-year-old woman said she came forward because she wants to protect other women who may get involved with Brown. Police and prosecutors asked for any other potential victims to come forward, but no one has done so.

According to police, Brown had been involved with the woman 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.

McBride wanted Brown to be labled and registered as a sexually based offender upon his release from prison but did not include that provision in the indictment or plea agreement. Judge Krichbaum said he cannot impose a stipulation on Brown that he did not agree to at the time of his entering into the plea agreement.


1doowoptokidrock(325 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

The parole board wanted probation and no jail time. Are you kidding me? This clown should be in jail for a lot more than 3 years.

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2michael1757(489 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

3 year's? Why doesn't somebody go slap that girl,because that's what the prosecution did. Only giving that guy 3 year's is insulting. Is that how long that poor girl will suffer while she probably wishes for death to escape the pain. What about leading up to that point? He should have been givin' at least 15. Give him something to think about.

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3bfpeer(32 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Wow only 3 years? To me that is premeditated murder! So when this poor girl dies will he get tried then. Then again in school from a very young age we were always told to protect ourselves. Everytime someone has unprotected sex they risk the chance of catching something. That's why people should keep their heads in the books and not trying to grow up too fast. She could have said No! It's better to be safe then sorry, now they are both sorry!

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4Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

What a sick deranged animal!

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5Mitch(1 comment)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Such malice in these comments! Are we angry because Mr. Brown was a danger, or because of something else? There are several good studies spanning several decades that indicate heterosexuals who are properly treated do not transmit the virus. If Mr. Brown made it 20 some years with the virus, he was probably under treatment when he met up with his partners. Are we punishing him because he put these women's lives at risk, or is it something else?

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