South Dakota man sentenced for HIV exposure

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 29 2003 12:00 AM ET

William Jenigen, from Aberdeen, S.D., on Tuesday was given a 45-day suspended jail sentence and five years' probation for intentionally exposing a sex partner to HIV. Jenigen, 36, who had originally pleaded not guilty to six counts of deliberate HIV exposure, in February entered an Alford plea for one of the counts, under which Jenigen maintained his innocence but conceded that there was evidence to make his conviction likely. The five other charges were dropped. Circuit judge Eugene Dobberpuhl said Jenigen's actions had put innocent people in danger, but Dobberpuhl said South Dakota's HIV exposure law was passed to protect, rather than punish. "At this point I cannot find it in my heart to be harsh," said Dobberpuhl in announcing the sentence.

Jenigen's former roommate, Jay Lee Woods, 41, also was arrested last May and charged with exposing sex partners to HIV. Woods is currently charged with four felony counts of exposing three male sex partners to HIV. His trial, originally scheduled for mid March, has been postponed indefinitely.