By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com April 04 2003 1:00 AM ET
A 33-year-old HIV-positive male prostitute in Los Angeles was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison on prostitution charges, the Los Angeles Times reports. The conviction was his fifth. Donnie Ray Bobo pleaded no contest to a felony charge of prostitution and made no comment before being sentenced. "His background is grim, his prospects are even more grim, and his characteristics are such that every time he gets out of prison, he gets back on the street and renders someone else susceptible to HIV," said Los Angeles County superior court judge John T. Doyle before imposing the sentence.
Prostitution is usually prosecuted as a misdemeanor in California but can be considered a felony if the defendant has tested positive for HIV before the arrest. Bobo tested positive for HIV antibodies more than a decade ago. Doyle said the 10-year term is "one of the lengthier sentences I would have imposed" in a prostitution case, but the judge said he felt compelled to protect people from exposure to the virus. Deputy district attorney Lori-Ann Jones said she asked for a long sentence to try to end the "horrible cycle" of HIV-positive prostitutes infecting their clients, who then may pass the virus along to family members.