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Police fear HIV-positive man lured boys for sex

October 31, 1997

CLEVELAND (AP) _ A convicted rapist who twice tested positive for the AIDS virus may have had sexual contact with at least 50 boys, some of whom were recruited for a basketball league and then lured to the man’s apartment.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Stuart Friedman set a hearing for Dec. 4 to determine whether James Russell, 35, of the suburb of Euclid, should be classified as a sexual predator.

Russell was convicted on one count each of rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition of a 17-year-old boy. The teen-ager was tested for HIV _ the virus that causes AIDS _ but the results weren’t disclosed. Russell remained in jail.

Russell revealed during the investigation of the rape charge that he also had been sexually involved with other people, Euclid police Lt. David Brooks said.

Police said Russell tried to recruit dozens of boys into a basketball league he had formed, and he then would lure them to his apartment for sex. He told police he practiced safe sex but didn’t do so with the boy he was convicted last week of raping.

Police didn’t know how long Russell has been infected with HIV.

Russell was arrested in May after the boy made his allegation to administrators at his school and they notified police.

Robert Williams, Russell’s lawyer, had no comment, his secretary said.

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