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Judge Suppresses Evidence in AIDS-Disclosure Trial

October 15, 1991

BALDWIN, Mich. (AP) _ A judge ruled today that the prosecution may not use a man’s medical records in the case against him for allegedly refusing to tell a lover he was an AIDS carrier.

District Judge Richard Farabaugh suppressed the Lake County prosecutor’s main evidence that Jeffrey Hanlon has the AIDS virus. He ruled the prosecution failed to meet the burden of proof required to violate Hanlon’s privacy by seizing his medical records.

Hanlon is the first person charged under a 1988 Michigan law making it a felony to not disclose AIDS infection to one’s sexual partner. He was extradited from New York to face the charge.

At Hanlon’s preliminary hearing today, defense lawyer James Catchick argued that the 1988 law also puts a greater protection on the privacy of AIDS patients’ medical records.

The law requires prosecutors to show that there are no ways short of medical records to obtain information about a person’s AIDS status. Farabaugh said that was not done before the search warrant was granted.

At Prosecutor Michael Riley’s request, Farabaugh postponed the rest of the hearing until Oct. 22 to give Riley time to find other witnesses.

Hanlon remains in the jail in lieu of bond.

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