A 34-year-old Belle Chasse man is in jail after police say he failed to tell his partner that he was undergoing treatment for AIDS and ended up transmitting the disease to his boyfriend.
Lance Bartholomew was arrested last week and charged with intentional exposure to the AIDS virus. He is incarcerated in the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center under a $25,000 bond.
Capt. Pat Yoes, spokesman for the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, said Bartholomew and the victim, who is from St. Charles Parish, had a consensual relationship. However, Bartholomew hid his disease from his partner.
“Bartholomew was aware that he was being treated for AIDS and did not disclose to his partner,” Yoes said. “The victim contacted the Sheriff’s Office when he learned the information.”
The victim later got tested and discovered that he was HIV positive.
In 1987, Louisiana passed a law that makes it a felony to expose someone to HIV without his or her consent. In order to be prosecuted for exposure, AIDS doesn’t have to be transmitted to the victim. Someone can be prosecuted for the crime if they know they have AIDS and have sexual contact with the victim or expose them to the disease through spitting, biting, throwing blood or other bodily substances.
Bartholomew faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.