Nushawn on the Block
by Gabi Horn
When rumors and reports surfaced last year that Nushawn Williams, then 20, had infected more than a dozen Chautauqua County, New York, women and girls with HIV, the case became a lightning rod in the debate over criminalization of transmission.
Alleging that Williams had unprotected sex with a 15-year-old girl months after learning his HIV status and receiving post-test counseling, a Bronx grand jury slapped him in August with his second indictment—and New York’s first “endangerment” charge in an HIV-related case: reckless endangerment with depraved indifference to human life. “By knowing he had HIV, and by knowing the dangers of sexual contact, he intentionally tried to transmit the virus,” said Bronx DA Robert Johnson. Williams pleaded not guilty. Of his 48 sexual partners who have been ID’d, 13 have tested positive, 28 negative, and seven have not been tested.