HIV law results in life sentence for Oklahoma man

By Editors

Originally published on July 09 2003 12:00 AM ET

An Oklahoma law enacted to help prevent law enforcement officers from being exposed to HIV, hepatitis, and other diseases was used to sentence a convicted rapist to life in prison for spitting on a police officer. A jury unanimously recommended that the man, John C. Marquez, receive a life sentence for spitting on police officer Charles Gadd and then attempting to bite him when Gadd tried to prevent him from spitting a second time. The prosecution in the case had asked for a 25-year sentence; Marquez's attorneys requested a four-year prison term. Both Marquez and Gadd have tested negative for any communicable diseases. Marquez's attorney, Jason Serner, said he plans to appeal the sentence.