In an unusual move, a court has required a criminal defendant in Nelson
County, Maryland, to submit to tests to determine whether he is carrying
any sexually transmitted diseases. The man, age 56, is accused of sodomy,
rape and object sexual penetration with several victims under the age
of 13. Other charges for alleged
sex crimes in the case include those for possessing and manufacturing child pornography.
The parents of the three alleged victims requested that the man be tested
for HIV and other STDs. Those family members say they simply want to make
sure that their children are not infected with a communicable disease.
Attorneys for the defense did not raise objections to that request, but
they have requested notification if the children show symptoms of an STD.
Information released at a preliminary hearing shows that the man’s
electronic devices may have included as many as 37 videos and 750 images
of the children in question. Three girls testified that the defendant
had engaged in questionable behavior with them, including sex acts. One
of the girls said that she was forced into recording some of the sexual
encounters that were found on the man’s computer and thumb drives.
The defendant in this case was subject to thorough background checks, according
to officials with Amherst County Public Schools. The man had worked there
in the transportation department from 2012 to 2013. He is slated to be
arraigned in late June in Nelson County.
The man and his attorney clearly had to work together to decide whether
the STD testing could be considered an invasion of privacy or violation
of rights. In the worst case, it could provide evidence linking the man
to the crimes. However, the test may ultimately prove irrelevant if no
diseases are detected. Such invasive tests should be carefully considered
before they are approved.
Source: The News & Advance, “Man facing sex charges must undergo STD testing, court orders” Justin Faulconer, Jun. 09, 2014