A Maryland man was arrested after he knowingly infected multiple women with the HIV virus. The Frederick Police Department said Rudolph Jericho Smith, 34, intentionally transmitted HIV to women he met on dating websites and apps.
Smith was taken into custody after a 21-month investigation. Police acted on a tip that Smith was knowingly infecting women with the HIV virus after meeting the ladies on various dating websites and apps, according to Fox5 news.
Police say Smith knew about his HIV status since 2014. A search warrant for his blood was executed and a lab test confirmed his positive HIV status in 2017.
The police department was later notified that Smith continued to meet single women online and had unprotected sex with them without informing the victims about his HIV status.
Detectives identified several victims, but they are urging women who may have had sexual relations with Smith to come forward and be tested.
Smith was indicted on four counts of assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment and knowing transfer of HIV. He is currently being held without bail. He faces up to 18 years in prison if convicted.
Anyone who had sexual relations with Smith on or after July 2017 is urged to contact the Frederick Police Department at (301) 600-8477.
June 5, 2019 will mark the 38th anniversary of the HIV pandemic in the United States. The HIV epidemic continues to rise in densely populated cities, despite government funded treatment and prevention programs and media efforts to educate men and women about HIV.