Charlie Sheen made a shocking announcement on the “Today” show this morning when he revealed that he’s HIV-positive. And while the world is flooding the Internet with questions about his status, a new report claims that Sheen may be in legal trouble if he’s exposed any sexual partners to the disease.
During the interview, Sheen revealed that he was diagnosed four years ago and that he disclosed his status to a few people, some of whom he claims have betrayed him through extortion.
“I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful,” he said. Instead he said, “my trust turned to their treason.”
Although Sheen claims that part of his reason for revealing his status is to stop the extortion, TMZ reports that Sheen also has to worry about whether or not he had unprotected sex with any of his sexual partners.
In California, it’s illegal to have unprotected sex when that person knows that he or she is HIV-positive. If arrested and charged, a person could face up to six months in jail.
The punishment is even greater if a person willfully sleeps with a partner with the intent to transmit the disease. In California, it’s a felony charge and that individual could face up to eight years in prison for doing so.
For now, Sheen claims that he always engaged in sex safe after his diagnosis and law enforcement sources claim that no one has come forward to complain yet. However, the TMZ report claims that Sheen has settled several cases with people who had sex with him that didn’t know his status, which, if true, could lead to some legal drama.
This is definitely going to be a hot-button topic as the week goes on and it will likely spark greater conversation about the criminalization of HIV. For now though, we’ll just have to wait and see how this plays out.