CINCINNATI - Testimony resumes on Wednesday morning in the first of its kind trial in Hamilton County. Andre Davis is on trial for felonious assault for allegedly having sex with a dozen women and failing to tell them he was HIV positive.
Prosecutors began calling witnesses to the stand Tuesday . They included former girlfriends who said they had sexual relations with Davis after the summer of 2009. It was at that time in 2009, when Davis learned he was HIV positive.
Investigators say he learned of his status after he had a medical exam for an offered contract with a professional wrestling organization. Davis was a wrestler who went by the name Andre Heart. The contract offer was rescinded after the test results showed he was HIV positive.
Investigators say over the course of the next two years, Davis had sexual relations with a dozen women. He allegedly did not disclose to any of them that he was HIV positive. There is a law in Ohio that requires anyone to reveal that information before having any sexual interaction with a partner. Failure to do so, police say, is grounds for felonious assault charges.
Davis is on trial for 15 counts of felonious assault. In addition to former girlfriends testifying, the prosecution also called to the stand a former social worker for a group called Stop Aids. Phyliss Leathers testified that she met with Davis and his then girlfriend to talk about his HIV positive status and to share information about AIDS. She also testified about their conversation about the Ohio law.
"This is the form that is very specific with the Ohio HIV felonious assault law and what that individual needed to know," Leathers said.
The prosecuting attorney asked, "It has the title of that document actually?"
Leathers responded, "That's correct."
The prosecutor asked her to explain it to the jury.
"This form says that who is aware of their HIV status is required by law, as of March of 2000, by the state of Ohio to disclose their status prior to having any kind of sexual interaction with another individual," Leathers said.
Leathers said that Davis even signed a document stating that he had been informed about the law and understood the consequences.
The prosecution also called an expert witness to the stand. Nance Krueger, a compliance officer with Quest Diagnostics, testified about the science of the HIV testing and specifically about Davis' results.
The defense argued that since the test was not administered by Quest Diagnostics, there could be the possibility the test was inaccurate.
Another former girlfriend testified that she had sex with Davis more than 30 times. She said she asked him if he ever tested for it or was diagnosed as HIV positive because she herself was admitted to the hospital for treatment of mono. As part of her testing, the question of partners with HIV came up. She testified that he told her no, he was not HIV positive.
More girlfriends are expected to testify on Wednesday. If convicted on all charges, Davis faces the possibility of 120 years in prison. Before the start of the trial, he rejected a plea offer.
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