Michael Liebrum, a 54-year-old man from Kansas City, Missouri, has been charged with assault and attempted assault on a law enforcement officer.
The charge is a result of him allegedly spitting into the eye of a police officer as she was transferring him, and two others, to a detention center following his arrest for something else, reports WDAF.
In addition to the alleged spitting incident, Liebrum is also accused of saying “F--- you, b----! I have hepatitis and I’m HIV positive and I hope you get it.”
Liebrum’s profane verbal assault was only half true, as he later tested positive only for hepatitis C, but negative for HIV. If he were HIV-positive, his spit might have been considered a deadly weapon.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy, in the proceedings of its 2016 conference “When Sex Is a Crime and Spit Is a Dangerous Weapon,” noted:
Thirty-four U.S. states and territories have criminal statutes that allow prosecutions for allegations of non-disclosure, exposure and (although not required) transmission of the HIV virus. Prosecutions have occurred in at least 39 states under HIV-specific criminal laws or general criminal laws. Most of these laws treat HIV exposure as a felony, and people convicted under these laws are serving sentences as long as 30 years or more.
A Texas jury convicted an HIV-positive man, who was sentenced to 35 years in jail in 2008, after concluding his saliva was a “deadly weapon,” reports the London-based organization National AIDS Manual.
Although there is no scientific evidence that HIV can be transmitted through saliva, NAM found that the case was reported by more than 175 news outlets, but only three of those reports mentioned that HIV cannot be transmitted through spit.