BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- A Baltimore County man is out from behind bars on bail after he's charged with having sex with a young teen. And according to court documents, he knowingly spread HIV.
Kai Jackson explains the unusual case.
The suspect, Steven Podles is out after posting a $75,000 bail. WJZ talks with an attorney who gives his opinion of the case.
Baltimore County police say 36-year-old Steven Podles, of Sparrows Point, connected with a 13-year-old boy back in February.
Police say they met using a mobile phone application called Grinder.
"They agreed to meet for the purposes of sexual activity. He has since been charged for that interaction," said Cathy Batton, a spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department.
Police say using the app, Podles described himself as 30 years old, 6'4" and 200 lbs.
Investigators say Podles met with the 13-year-old boy and drove to an area of Essex in Baltimore County where the two had sex.
Podles was later arrested.
According to court documents, Podles is charged with soliciting a minor, having sex with a minor and transferring HIV to another person.
Police won't discuss the issue of HIV.
"The parents in this case were initially unaware of the sexual contact between their son and this man," Batton explained. "They found out about it several months later and then reported it to the police department."
"I think you'd probably need expert medical testimony," said legal expert Byron Warnken.
Defense attorney Warnken, who is not involved in this case, believes this could be a difficult case for the prosecution.
In Maryland, knowingly transferring HIV to a person is a misdemeanor crime that carries a $2,500 fine and maximum of three years in prison.
Warnken tells WJZ there are a number of factors that likely will be considered in this case.
"The burden is going to be on the state to prove that he transferred HIV and that he did so knowingly," he said.
Warnken said the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws which ensure the privacy of a person's medical records could be an issue in this case. A trial date of October 11 has been set.
WJZ contacted Podles' lawyer who says there's no evidence his client has HIV or that he transmitted it to anyone else.
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