South Dakota student sentenced to four years

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 03 2002 12:00 AM ET

Nikko Briteramos, a 19-year-old HIV-positive college student previously found guilty of exposing a sex partner to HIV, was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison for violating the sentencing agreement reached in the original HIV case. Briteramos had received a five-year suspended jail sentence, which included the provision that he spend 120 days in jail with scheduled furloughs so that he could attend classes at Si Tanka-Huron University in Huron, S.D.

On the day he received the suspended sentence, Briteramos was released from jail to register for college classes, but he disappeared for more than 5 1/2 hours, during which he visited his apartment and the apartment of a friend. Briteramos's attorney argued that the young man encountered difficulties in registering for classes and "kind of panicked." But Judge Tim Dallas Tucker, who gave Briteramos the original sentence in the HIV exposure case, ruled that the lengthy absence from jail constituted escape and sentenced the student to four years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in two years.

Briteramos is the first person in South Dakota to be found guilty of knowingly exposing a sex partner to HIV.