Williston, North Dakota law enforcement officers arrested 41-year-old Angel Miguel Rodriguez and charged him with transfer of body fluid that may contain HIV. The man was charged with the Class A felony after a woman came forward and told authorities last week she dated the suspect for several months back in 2015, during the summer and fall, and had unprotected sex with him during their relationship.
According to her statement, she tested positive for HIV in October 2016. The 54-year-old woman’s identity remains undisclosed at this moment, authorities citing the sensitivity of the investigation in relation to medical issues.
Even though Williams County Correctional Center records state Rodriguez told officers he was a carrier of the virus, he never disclosed this information with his lover. According to a court affidavit, the woman got tested for the virus after she learned about the man’s suspected diagnosis from another person. However, Rodriguez refuted the allegations when confronted by his partner.
Even though Williston officials do not want to create panic, they urge people who believe to have contracted the disease to speak with law enforcement officers, said Sgt. Detective Amy Nickoloff. Authorities believe the woman is just one of his victims, and multiple other individuals could now be carrying the virus.
Another woman who claimed to have contracted the disease as a result of having unprotected sex with the suspect said she did not come forward sooner because the allegation was hard to prove. However, having tested positive for HIV in January 2016, she says she alerted friends, family members, and acquaintances as soon as she got the results.
“I let everyone know I had it. I knew there were other victims. I know there’s other women out there”, said the 53-year-old victim who preferred to remain anonymous.
As of now, the suspect is incarcerated at the Williams County Correctional Center. The judge did not yet set bond. The law against knowingly spreading HIV and not disclosing the medical condition to sexual partners has been in effect in North Dakota since the late 80s. However, it is now clear how many people have been charged with the crime so far.
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