Wilmette Personal Trainer Fighting HIV Criminal Charges

CHICAGO (CBS) – A personal trainer faces charges after having unprotected sex with three women, knowing he had HIV.

46-year-old Jimmy Amutavi is being charged with three felony counts of criminal transmission of HIV. The Wilmette personal trainer had unprotected sex with three women, who did not know he was HIV positive, police said.

His attorney said he never broke the law. CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez has more on the case, that raises questions about new science and sex.

An individual is under no legal obligation to disclose that he/she has HIV before having sex, because “the statute requires that you intend to transmit the disease,” said Jon Erickson, Amutavi’s attorney.

CBS legal analyst Irv Miller disagreed.

“My reading of the statute is that you have the disease,” Miller said. “You knowingly have it and you still have sexual relations with someone who does not know that you have it.”

There are two defenses, a., wear a condom and b., tell your partner that you have a disease.

“He was not wearing a condom,” Erikson said. “And that is the problem with the statute.”

Erikson said his clients drug regimen offers more protection than a condom, which is only 80 percent effective.

The CDC said “Taking ART (anti-retroviral drugs)” reduces the chances of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner by about 96 percent.

“If I were the attorney on the case,” Miller said. “I’d be filing a motion saying this law is discriminatory, because I’m doing something better than the law requires.”

Cook County State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez weighed in on HIV Criminal law, telling Windy City Times back in March, it “simply makes no sense and is clearly out of date and out of line with modern science.”

Miller agrees that the statute needs to be updated to recognize the effectiveness of certain drugs.

*It is important to point out that CBS does not know for sure if any of these women actually contracted HIV.

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