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Court denies appeal of man who spread HIV

The Iowa Supreme Court denied an appeal by Adam Donald Musser, who is serving 50 years in jail for having unprotected sex with four people without telling them of his HIV-positive status.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A man convicted of having unprotected sex with four people while knowing he carried the virus that causes AIDS was denied appeals Friday by the Iowa Supreme Court.

The court said Adam Donald Musser, who is serving 50 years in prison for criminal transmission of HIV, deserved a long sentence because intentionally exposing someone to the virus "is just like the first-degree robber who attempts to inflict serious injury on his victim."

Court documents indicate Musser, 25, of Iowa City, learned in July 2000 that he carried HIV after being tested at a free health clinic. Although he knew he carried the virus and was taking medication for it, he had unprotected sex on several occasions with different partners.

At least one woman who testified that she had sex with Musser reports she now carries HIV.

The high court rejected several constitutional arguments in Musser's appeal, including that the state law requiring a carrier of HIV to notify a partner violates the First Amendment protection against forcing speech against one's will.

The court ruled that the state law promotes a compelling state interest and is narrow enough in scope to be constitutional.

Musser's lawyer, Linda Del Gallo, declined to comment.