Test alleged rapists for the AIDS virusBecause I believe...

the Forum

January 13, 1992

Test alleged rapists for the AIDS virus

Because I believe that the right of a rape victim to know should come before an alleged rapist's right to privacy, I will sponsor legislation to require that anyone formally charged with rape and other serious sexual offenses be tested for AIDS. Specifically, the bill requires that upon the victim's request to the state's attorney, a person indicted for rape or other serious sexual offenses must submit to an AIDS test. The results of the test must be reported to both the victim and the accused sex offender within 48 hours after the results have been confirmed.

Only 10 states make convicted rapists take the AIDS test. Illinois, Nevada and Oregon laws mandate or authorize convicted sex offenders and prostitutes to be tested at the alleged rape victim's request. It is unconscionable that most states, including Maryland, put the accused sex offender's privacy right above the victim's right to know if she has been exposed to the deadly virus.

Certainly I am aware that the AIDS test is not foolproof, mainly because of the virus' long and unpredictable incubation period. And I am also aware that a negative test result might give the victim a false sense of security. However, any testing is better than none at all. And if it spares many rape victims the agony of uncertainty and ultimately saves many people from contracting AIDS, that is ample reason to justify passage of the bill.

Thomas L. Bromwell

Annapolis

The writer represents the 6th District in the Maryland Senate. ?

Complicity

Robin Miller's "Drugs come to rural America, where selling is safer" (Other Voices, Dec. 27) was appalling. A Baltimore taxi driver and city resident knowingly drives a drug dealer to a smal

town on the Eastern Shore so the young thug (yes, thug - there had to be a handgun in that small bag) could sell crack cocaine to naive, first-time users.

Far from a welcome chance to spend a few hours out of the city, away from its crime and drug problems, this driver became an active participant in drug dealing - then pontificates about it! The morally and legally correct thing to do would have been to go directly to the state police. That way this cold-blooded "young businessman" might at least have been stopped from infecting new users with this insidious drug. Crack is the root cause of almost all the violent deaths in this city.

W.T. Samuelson

Baltimore

Confidence

An essential requirement to turn the economy around is public confidence. Without it the American people will neither spend nor invest ` both of which are needed for a recovery.

Confidence is based on a perception that political leaders are implementing realistic remedies. The average American knows that growth and jobs cannot be produced by smoke and mirrors, false bravado, traveling overseas or buying sweat socks.

Prompt, pragmatic and bold actions are called for, including JTC infrastructure investments by the federal government to create jobs and prime the pump, dramatic reductions in the defense budget and reducing the massive costs of the S&L bail-out.

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

New Yorkers

I could have cried when I read about how the New York boys are coming down and taking the drug business away from our own local pusher boys.

Ben Sauter

Hebbville

Blaming Japan

Helen Bentley's remarks on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor slandered a whole nation and people and revealed her to be arrogant and ignorant.

Bentley said Japan has no convictions or religion. In fact, the Japanese have a long history of Shintoism as well as Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Christianity.

Bentley also said that Japan was breaking the rules in business. If Americans were not willing to sell land and businesses to the highest bidder, Japan would not own a good portion of this country. Japan also has a high regard for the law. Just compare its crime rate and ours.

Whenever there are hard times, some group is made to take the blame. This group was the Jews in Germany in the 1930s. Today in America it is the Japanese. Japan is not responsible for the decaying of American society: Americans are. It is time we stop looking for someone to blame for all the problems of our society. Unless we take responsibility ourselves, this country will continue to go downhill.

Lee Carrigan

Baltimore

Tax racing

In regard to "Racing's virtues" (Forum, Jan. 7), how can the incessant beating of animals, merely to win money, be called a virtue?

A horse was blinded by a beating on the head; another received serious eye injuries at the starting gate. Is it sport to force animals to race beyond endurance while being beaten with a whip? Apparently anti-cruelty laws mean nothing when it comes to making money. Tax racing!

Dorothy Tegeder

Baltimore

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