A 37-year-old Maryland man who knowingly infected three women with HIV was sentenced to time in prison, officials said.
In a Friday news release, the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office said Rudolph Jericho Smith, 37, of Federick, was sentenced to 30 years, “suspending all but 9 years active in the Division of Corrections for assault and knowingly transferring HIV to three women.” Once he is released, he will spend an additional five years on probation — during which time he must tell his probation officer the names of any sexual partners he may have, The Frederick News-Post reported.
Prior to his sentencing, which came down from Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Julia A. Martz-Fisher, Smith entered an Alford plea to three counts of second-degree assault and three counts of knowingly attempting to transfer HIV in September. An Alford plea, as per the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office’s new release, “is a type of guilty plea, where the defendant does not formally admit guilt but acknowledges that the State has sufficient evidence to convict them.”
An investigation into Smith began in 2017 when separate women told officials that they believed Smith had infected them with HIV.
Investigators spent “considerable time” during the investigation attempting to find out if Smith was HIV positive and if he was aware of his HIV positive status, officials said.
Eventually, investigators obtained a warrant to collect a blood sample from Smith, ultimately revealing his HIV-positive status, according to the newspaper.
“It was eventually established that Rudolph Smith was aware that he was HIV-positive but continued to have unprotected sex with women without informing them of his status,” the news release states.
“While HIV is not what it was 15 years ago with effective treatments that now exist, these victims will be impacted by this defendant’s actions for the rest of their lives,” said State’s Attorney Charlie Smith in a statement.