The lawyer for David Gutierrez—an HIV-positive noncommissioned officer at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas—defended his client by claiming recent scientific research shows that unprotected sex does not amount to aggravated assault, The Associated Press (AP) reports. Gutierrez is accused of having unprotected sex with multiple partners without telling them he was HIV positive. He is charged under the Uniform Code of Military Justice with 10 counts of aggravated assault and with violating his squadron commander’s order to notify his sexual partners about his status and to use condoms. If convicted on all charges, which also include charges of indecent acts and adultery, he could face 53 years in prison, a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and a reduction in rank.

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