Thursday, December 11, 2008

Man Charged with Lying About HIV Status

Allegedly Faked Document to Trick Girlfriend

By Conor Greene

A Queens man who is HIV positive has been charged with using a fake document he claimed was issued by a local health care facility to convince a woman to have unprotected sex with him.

Duane Lang, 47, of Richmond Hill was arrested last week and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a forged document, according to the city Department of Investigation. If convicted, he faces up to seven years on the felony charge and a year in prison on the misdemeanor count.

According to the charges, his unnamed girlfriend refused to have unprotected sex with Lang unless he could provide medical proof that he had recently tested negative for HIV/AIDS. Lang, who has been HIV-positive since 2002, allegedly provided her with a fake document from the AIDS Center of Queens County showing that he had been tested in December 2007 and was not infected.

As a result, the woman engaged in unprotected sex with Lang between eight and ten times from December 2007 to March 2008, according to authorities. In March, the woman became suspicious and questioned him about the authenticity of the document. At that point, Lang admitted that it was forged and that he is HIV positive. The medical director at ACQC reviewed the document and confirmed that he had not signed it and that his name was misspelled on it.

“With deceit and depravity, the defendant repeatedly endangered the life of a person he supposedly cared for,” said Rose Gill Hearn, commissioner of the Department of Investigation. “Rarely have we seen a forged document used in way that is so directly and personally destructive to another human being. The consequences for that kind of conduct include arrest, criminal prosecution and possibly a prison sentence.”

The case is now being prosecuted by the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

“This is a tragic situation and serves as a reminder that things may not always be as they seem,” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden. “Even if you have talked to your partner about HIV status, the best way to protect yourself from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is to use a condom every time you have sex."

No comments: