December 24, 2015
A Pennsylvania man who was born HIV-positive will spend between 33 and 66 months in prison after he was sentenced Wednesday for failing to disclose his medical status before having unprotected sex with three different women.
26-year-old Ricky Webster, of Wilson Borough in Northampton County, slept with a Nazareth woman and two Easton women at least three times each without telling any of them that he was HIV-positive, according to Lehigh Valley Live. The victims contacted police after one of them read a story online about Webster's criminal history, including an acknowledgment of his condition.
Webster was adopted by parents who attempted to steer him in the right direction. He appeared on CNN with his adoptive father at age 14 to discuss the challenges of living with HIV and later gave an interview to The Star-Ledger for a 2010 series marking the 25th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS.
Despite the best efforts of his support network, Webster proved in the coming years that he was unable to contain himself from willfully exposing others to potential harm.
In 2010, Webster was sentenced to four years in prison in New Jersey for failing to disclose his HIV status to two women with whom he had sex, including a 15-year-old girl in August 2009.
Though none of the involved in either case has tested positive for HIV, the three women in the more recent case have not yet passed the point at which the risk of developing the disease expires.
Immediately after he was charged, Webster pleaded guilty to nine counts of recklessly endangering another a person and theft.
Northampton County Senior Judge Leonard Zito denounced Webster's actions despite a plea from his father, a Catholic church deacon, to consider the extreme difficulty of his son's circumstance.
"This ranks among the most cowardly of human acts," Zito told Webster at his sentencing. "This was not only disrespectful but it borders on the most heinous and deplorable acts."
In court, Webster said that he had sex with his co-workers because he and his girlfriend, with whom he has a son, were experiencing tension in their relationship.