Navy Dismisses HIV Charges

November 30, 2012

30 NOV (NAS JACKSONVILLE) – A US Navy veteran accused of HIV-related criminal charges has reached a pretrial agreement that will free him within weeks.  Accused of failing to disclose his alleged “HIV-positive status,” military prosecutors charged the Aviation Electrician’s Mate (RS) with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault “likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm.” If convicted of all charges, RS faced a demotion and dishonorable discharge, the loss of all veterans’ benefits and a maximum sentence of 13 years at Fort Leavenworth. 

But days after the military court heard testimony from OMSJ’s medical, scientific and legal experts (see Daubert Hearing), prosecutors agreed to withdraw all HIV- and sex- related charges in exchange for a simple guilty plea to a charge of battery. 

One witness familiar with the case equated the battery charge with having been accused by a date of “pulling her hair too hard.” 

OMSJ became involved in the case last July, when an attorney from the Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC) called OMSJ.  After discussing the case, OMSJ Director Clark Baker assembled a team of medical, scientific and legal experts to the case. 

“It was clear from the start that failing to defend this Navy veteran was not an option for our organization,” said Baker, a Marine Corps and LAPD veteran himself.  “The evidence to convict was just not there.”

During the next few months, OMSJ’s team pored over hundreds of pages of medical records. 

Like many military HIV cases, RS “flagged hot” for HIV during a routine screening weeks after receiving a series of vaccinations that are known to cause false-positive HIV test results.  As OMSJ explained last March, HIV tests screen for antibody responses that vaccines are designed to produce.  In addition to vaccines, dozens of other co-factors unrelated to HIV are known to cause false positive tests results.  “Unfortunately,” said Baker, “few doctors ever take the time to rule out these co-factors: 

“Instead,” says Baker, “(doctors) refer HIV cases to other ‘specialists’ who assume that the first doctor conducted a proper diagnosis… In some cases, six or more doctors are involved in the treatment of healthy asymptomatic patients without checking to see if anyone ever conducted an actual clinical diagnosis… It’s like a drunk-driving arrest by four policemen who incorrectly assume that someone else conducted the sobriety test!”

Although RS presented no symptoms of HIV infection, his clinicians prescribed the “black box” drug Atripla, which not only compromises liver, kidney and immune function but also contains the highly addictive psychotropic drug Efavirenz (Sustiva).  When Efavirenz is started or stopped, it produces symptoms that clinicians typically identify as the onset of “full-blown AIDS.”  When smoked like crystal meth, cocaine or opiates, it produces LSD-like symptoms:

Since 2009, the pharmaceutical industry has paid $10 billion to settle thousands of criminal and civil complaints related to the illegal marketing of drugs that kill or injure 2-4 million Americans, ANNUALLY.  These companies pay millions of dollars in kickbacks and bribes to clinicians that unnecessarily prescribe deadly drugs to healthy asymptomatic patients.  The leading US HIV testing laboratories – Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp – have paid millions of dollars to settle allegations of fraud or using testing devices that the FDA never approved to diagnose HIV.

Drug giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) licenses Efavirenz to Atripla manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, .   Both BMS and Gilead are accused of paying as much as $100K in kickbacks to doctors who unnecessarily prescribe their drugs – including Atripla.  Both companies fund partners of the US Military HIV Research Project (MHRP), which employs many of the US Government’s HIV experts.

In an unrelated Air Force case, another doctor accepted a $2.93 million “grant” after testifying against her own patient.  That case is currently under appeal.

In Jacksonville, the prosecution’s case was further weakened when the defense team obtained a court order to retest the defendant’s blood.  Although they found a large number of the harmless Adeno-associated virus (AAV), OMSJ’s experts found no evidence of HIV.

This case marks OMSJ’s 49th victory in three years. 

For more information regarding OMSJ’s criminal cases, visit the HIV Innocence Group.

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