Ohio Wrestler Gets 32 Years in HIV Assault Case
A former professional wrestler was sentenced Monday to 32 years in prison for having sex with women without telling them he had tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS.
Andre Davis, 29, was sentenced in a Hamilton County court on 14 counts of felonious assault. Davis, who wrestled using stage names including Gangsta of Love and Sweet Sexy Sensation, was convicted in November.
Prosecutors had said Davis violated state law by not telling a dozen sex partners about his HIV status or lying to them.
Davis told the judge Monday that he was a "sex addict" and that his addiction grew worse when he lost his dream of becoming a professional wrestler after getting the HIV test results.
He said sex addiction is probably the worst addiction anyone could have.
"Drugs and alcohol are terrible, but sex is something everybody wants," he said.
Davis, who said he didn’t disclose his HIV test results because he didn’t want his family to know, said he never intended to hurt anyone.
"I am not a monster," he said.
Assistant prosecutor Amy Tranter had argued during trial that Davis should go to prison for a long time, saying the case was about his responsibility to tell the women his test results.
"He’s a manipulative man and a liar," Tranter said Monday.
Davis’ attorney, Greg Cohen, had argued that the state law regarding HIV and felonious assault is poorly written because it doesn’t require proof that there has been harm or an attempt to commit harm.
Cohen told the judge that his client was sorry for what he had done and that the women Davis slept with also had some responsibility for choosing to have unprotected sex.
The judge, citing medical privacy laws, had prohibited attorneys from bringing up whether any of the women was infected with the virus, which can be transmitted through unprotected sex.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has reported that World Wrestling Entertainment told Davis in July 2009 that it wouldn’t hire him because he failed his physical and tested positive for HIV.
Cohen had noted during the trial that a company, not a doctor, told Davis that he was HIV-positive and that he did not think prosecutors could prove that Davis has HIV. But the state law requires those who test positive for HIV to inform their sex partners of that status and it was not necessary to prove that Davis is HIV-positive, Tranter said.
Cohen told The Associated Press that an appeal will be filed.
He said the constitutionality of the law "is probably going to be raised, and there are some legal issues regarding the admission of certain types of evidence."
Davis, who could have received over 100 years in prison, faces similar charges in Warren County, north of Cincinnati.