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Bill Proposes Attempted Murder Charge for Prostitutes With AIDS

April 23, 1987

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) _ An assemblyman compared working prostitutes who know they have AIDS with mass murderers as he pressed for legislative approval of his bill to allow attempted murder charges in such cases.

″Nevada can set an example for the rest of the world,″ said Russell Reade, co-owner of the Chicken Ranch brothel near Pahrump.

″The safest possible sex is the highest priority of the brothel industry,″ Reade said.

The Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday heard John DuBois’ bill, which would allow attempted murder charges against people who know they have acquired immune deficincy syndrome but continue to engage in prostitution.

No action was taken on the bill, and several amendments are expected.

″This bill will not resolve the AIDS epidemic, but will give law enforcement agencies tools to work with and get what I call mass murderers off the streets,″ DuBois said.

DuBois said the bill is not necessarily intended for prostitutes in Nevada’s legal brothels, who undergo mandatory AIDS testing monthly.

Under current law, authorities can only arrest a prostitute on a misdemanor charge for knowingly transmitting a communicable disease, he said, adding that the lethal consequences of AIDS warrant harsher penalties.

Since 1983, Nevada has had 84 confirmed AIDS cases and 51 deaths as a result.

State Health Division Administrator Larry Matheis said no working prostitutes in legal brothels have tested positive for the AIDS virus since the tests began last year. But eight women seeking employment in brothels have tested positive and were refused employment, he added.

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