A former Emory
University medical student pleaded guilty Tuesday to two
more counts of knowingly having unprotected sex without
warning the victims he was HIV-positive.
Garry Wayne Carriker was sentenced to two years
in prison and eight more years on probation. The
Fulton County, Ga., sentence will be served
concurrently with an identical sentence issued earlier this
month by a Fayette County judge for a separate
incident. Carriker must also serve 500 hours of
community service after his release.
The fourth-year medical student and 2001
graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy was charged
under a little-used Georgia law that makes it a felony
for people who know they have HIV to engage in unprotected
sex without disclosing their status.
A lawsuit filed by John Withrow of Peachtree
City said that Carriker learned he had HIV in June
2003. The lawsuit said the two men met in an Internet
chat room in December of that year but that Carriker did not
tell him he had the virus until their relationship ended
after about four months.
Withrow contacted police, and Carriker was
arrested last year, sending a jolt through Atlanta's
But after his arrest, prosecutors say he had
unprotected sex with two more men in nearby Fulton
County without telling them he had the virus. "That
demonstrates he had not learned a lesson or had become more
aware of his responsibility," said Erik Friedly, a spokesman
for the district attorney's office.
Withrow said that although coming forward was
difficult, he hopes more people are now aware of the
law. "No one should ever put another person's life or
health at risk--no matter what the level of risk may
be," he said.
His attorney said the case is a reminder that
anyone--not just gay men--who believe
their lovers knowingly exposed them to the virus have legal
recourse. "We're happy that a message was sent to Carriker
and anyone else who puts themselves in this
situation," said Adam Jaffe, who is representing
Withrow in an ongoing civil case against Carriker. "If
you shoot bullets into a crowd, you're going to jail." (AP)