Local News

Raleigh man pleads guilty to public-health violation

Posted August 22, 2008

— A Raleigh man received a 45-day suspended jail sentence Friday after pleading guilty to charges that he failed to use a condom and notify sexual partners that he has HIV.

Joshua Waldon Weaver, 23, a DJ in Raleigh and Wilmington, was also sentenced to 30 months of supervised probation and ordered to pay a $300 fine, plus court costs.

Weaver was arrested in April on charges brought under North Carolina Administrative Code 10-41 A.02020 (1)(a)(e), which addresses control measures regarding HIV, and North Carolina General Statute 130A-144 (f), which requires all people to comply with measures controlling communicable diseases.

The offenses, which ranged from Aug. 1, 2006, to April 2008, are misdemeanors in North Carolina.

"The defendant's repeated violations of those are what brought him here today," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Boz Zellinger said Friday.

As part of his probation, Weaver must pay a $300 fine, plus court costs, and comply with the public health laws under which he was charged. He must also undergo a mental health and substance abuse assessment and stay away from nightclubs unless he is working.

Zellinger said that if Weaver violates his probation, he could be quarantined for up to two years.

Last Friday, District Judge James Fullwood continued the case after Weaver's attorney, Evonne Hopkins, tried to have court proceedings closed, saying the case is a sensitive matter and that exposing medical information might violate medical privacy laws.

Although she would not speak about the specifics in Weaver's case, Gibby Harris, director of the Wake County Public Health Department, said patients diagnosed with a communicable disease, such as HIV, must agree to a no-contact order so that the disease will not spread.

Criminal charges are a last resort, she said, if patients don't comply.

"Part of the issue, I do believe, is that people have started to believe that HIV is a chronic disease. It used to be that it was a death sentence," she said. "We're having difficulty educating our younger community about this."

Zellinger said he hopes the case will be a wake-up call for others.

"When you think about it, somebody's lives have been changed irreparably by this defendant's actions," he said. "Having a cavalier attitude about following public health laws can't really be tolerated because other people are put in harm's way."

75 Comments

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  • houndie Aug 22, 9:38 p.m.

    I think he should have served jail time!

  • Common Sense Man Aug 22, 9:28 p.m.

    "Just goes to show you that you cant look at someone and know if they have a STD or HIV or Aids."

    Lol, ya think? Welcome to 2008.

  • commonsensical Aug 22, 9:05 p.m.

    NCTeacher: I'm sure the newly diagnosed individuals were referred to the health department for counseling. As part of the counseling, they are asked to provide names of their past partners. I'm guessing the same name kept coming up, which resulted in further investigation and then charges being filed.

  • teach4ever67 Aug 22, 9:05 p.m.

    NCTeach - I do not know for sure how they found the information on this gentleman, but I can offer a possible scenario as to how it MIGHT have happened...

    A person, male or female, goes to the doctor either because they are getting a physical or have been sick, or they could be a blood donor. They receive results stating they are HIV+. They are asked to make a list of partners they have been with recently so that these people can be contacted and tested. If they list a name and it comes back to someone that is already in the registry that the Health Dept. has spoken with or been in contact with due to other cases then they have their information.

    The article states that he had been warned several times, so obviously more than one person has listed him as a partner since he was first entered into the registry.

    As I stated, this is just a possible scenario...

  • commonsensical Aug 22, 9:01 p.m.

    To the folks defending him: Has he taken ANY responsibility for his actions? Would the person that he infected have thought twice before having unprotected sex with him if he was told that he was HIV positive? Perhaps the infected person wouldn't have INSISTED if he'd said 'hey dude, I'm HIV positive'. Quite selfish of him in my opinion; he wanted a piece without the condom in the way, so he got it.

  • NCTeacher Aug 22, 8:52 p.m.

    This is what I don't understood- and it all seems just way too "Big Brother is watching you" for me. HOW do they determine someone has done something like this? HOW does law enforcement determine that they are having unprotected sex and not telling people they have a disease?

    And I am not trying to insult anyone involved in this- law enforcement, defendents, victims....- but I would really be interested in an explanation

  • JofNC Aug 22, 8:35 p.m.

    I agree with dcombat77, why aren't others being targeted for this violation?

    Surely this isn't the first incident in Raleigh, EVER?!?!

    I hope he sues for his story being on the news too! (And I don't even know this guy!)

  • msihop Aug 22, 6:58 p.m.

    No one could turn out that dance floor like Gustav. The way he executed his dance moves with such accuracy and precision. The alternate-2 kick was his signature move. Then punctuated by the cartwheel. And 'Sandstorm' was his signature song. God bless you Gustav and all your dance abilities.

  • Scrofula Aug 22, 6:50 p.m.

    So why wasn't he charged with (i.e. why doesn't state law consider what he did to be ...) attempted murder?

  • msihop Aug 22, 6:48 p.m.

    I don't have an opinion about it one way or the other.

    M.S.

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