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NJ Lawmakers Want Loophole Closed In Cases Involving Failure To Disclose HIV Infection

SOMERVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - State lawmakers in New Jersey have introduced a measure that would allow investigators to access medical records of people charged with failing to disclose to sexual partners that they have HIV or AIDS.

As WCBS 880's Levon Putney reported a retired Plainfield police captain was on trial in July for having sex with women and not telling them he's HIV positive.

An appeals court ruled that state law barred the prosecutor from getting the medical records, so the ex-cop was acquitted.

NJ Lawmakers Want Loophole Closed In Cases Involving Failure To Disclose HIV Infection

"The legal system will never ever be perfectly perfect," Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli said on Wednesday.

But Ciattarelli said it's a lawmaker's job to make laws as close to perfect as possible "and ensure that justice is served."

The measure has been co-sponsored by Ciattarelli, State Sen. Kip Bateman and Assemblywoman Donna Simon.

"Right now, the county prosecutor's hands are tied," Bateman said.

"Failing to inform a sexual partner of this type of personal information can result in life changing and deadly results and is akin to the most serious of assaults," said Bateman in a statement. "In order to allow for the appropriate prosecution of this appalling crime – and to send a message to others that this selfish and dangerous behavior won't be tolerated – we must give the court the ability to consider information critical to the case like a suspect's medical history."

The bill would allow the medical records to be obtained through a court order in cases involving the third-degree crime of failing to disclose HIV positive status to sexual partners.

Under the current law, prosecutors are barred from obtaining medical records unless the defendant is also charged with a first degree crime.

"This is common sense legislation which closes a loophole," said Bateman.

The case from July is on appeal.

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