Man with AIDS virus indicted in rape no attempted-murder charge sought

July 16, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A West Baltimore man has been indicted on charges of rape and kidnapping after being accused of attacking a woman in Sandtown-Winchester, but will not face a charge of attempted murder for allegedly having unprotected sex with the victim even though he knew he had the AIDS virus.

After his arrest last month, Ronald Andre Jackson Sr. was charged with attempted murder on the grounds that the alleged attack intentionally put the victim in a life-threatening situation because Jackson is HIV-positive, court documents said. But Francine Stokes, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office, said yesterday that prosecutors never sought the attempted-murder indictment because of state "case law that addresses the issue."

She referred to a 1996 decision by Maryland's highest court that the fact that someone who commits a rape has the acquired immune deficiency syndrome virus is not enough to prove intent to kill.

A spokeswoman said the Police Department had no comment on the indictments, handed up by a city grand jury last week.

"We don't comment on any court proceedings," said Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes.

The Court of Appeals decision involved Dwight Ralph Smallwood of Prince George's County, who committed three rapes and robberies in 1993 -- two years after he was diagnosed as having the human immunodeficiency virus.

Smallwood pleaded guilty to rape and robbery, and was convicted of attempted murder. But the Court of Appeals overturned the attempted-murder convictions, ruling that the fact that he had AIDS was not enough to prove he wanted to kill his victims "in the absence of other evidence indicative of an intent to kill."

Jackson, 49, of the 800 block of W. Saratoga St. is being held without bail at the Central Booking and Intake facility. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 16.

Jackson was arrested after a woman who had been raped May 30 in a vacant rowhouse in the 1300 block of N. Calhoun St. identified him from a photograph.

The rape was one of three in three weeks in the same rowhouse. Jackson is a suspect in the other attacks, but has not been charged, Cook-Hayes said.

Pub Date: 7/16/98

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