Cedar Rapids man charged with criminal HIV transmission to two females

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A man has been charged with knowingly infecting two females, one a minor, with a sexually transmitted disease, according to court documents.

Lamont James, 33, of Cedar Rapids (Courtesy: Linn Couty Jail)

Lamont James, 33, is charged with two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, a class C felony, and two counts of criminal transmission of a contagious or infectious disease, a class D felony.

According to court filings, in June 2019, a 16-year-old girl reported to a Linn County Department of Human Services employee that she had been in a sexual relationship with James when she was only 13-years-old, though had intercourse with him as recently as April 2019. The girl said that she had tested positive for HIV and believed that James had infected her, since they never used a condom.

Police said that the girl told them she had learned that James was allegedly HIV-positive from other women and that he had never disclosed this to her.

The two counts of sexual abuse are connected to this allegation, one each for when the girl was between 12 and 13 years old, and one for when she was between 14 and 15 years old and James was more than four years older than her, per Iowa Code.

Another woman filed a report with the Cedar Rapids Police Department in November 2018, alleging that she had also contracted HIV from James. She told police that she had been sexually active with James and one other man between August and October 2018. The other man, whom she did not identify, had recently tested negative for HIV.

Linn County attorneys allege that James was informed of his HIV-positive status in April 2011.

Under Iowa Code section 709D.3(3), a person who knows they are infected with a contagious or infectious disease and exposes and infects an uninfected person through reckless disregard is charged with a class D felony. Prosecutors decided to charge James under this statute.

There are stronger potential penalties for persons who do the same with the intent of infecting the other party, with the charge escalating to a class B felony.

James is being held at the Linn County Jail on a $50,000 bond. An order preventing contact between James and the alleged victims was issued by a Linn County District Court judge. His next court appearance is scheduled for Friday, December 6, 2019, at 8:30 a.m.