An Iowa man who was convicted of knowingly having sex with another man while infected with HIV is asking the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn that decision, saying that because he used a condom there was no basis for the charge, his lawyers said in an appeal on Thursday.
Nick Rhoades was sentenced to 25 years in prison on one count of criminal transmission of HIV and lifetime registration as a sex offender. Rhoades pleaded guilty to the charge on advice from his previous lawyer, who recommended he do so even though there was no basis for the charge because he used a condom, Lambda Legal, his new attorneys, said in the court filing and a statement.
"The law only applies to those who intend to expose others to HIV," Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney for Lambda Legal, said in the statement. "This conviction cannot stand, because someone who engages in safe sex is not guilty of criminal transmission of HIV. Nick's use of a condom clearly indicates that he was protecting his sexual partner from exposure."