HIV positive William O’Kelly was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree assault with a deadly weapon because he allegedly spit on another man in a dispute. Yet when he was taken into custody, authorities held him for 24 hours without providing him access to his medications, partly because they couldn’t confirm he was HIV positive even though, in effect, he was arrested only because he was HIV positive.
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DENVER– Colorado court authorities are presently investigating whether the HIV positive status of Denver resident William O’Kelly was improperly revealed. O’Kelly was charged with attempted second degree assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly spitting on Jason Arb in an argument. O’Kelly’s probation officer reportedly told Arb after the fact that O’Kelly was HIV positive, a likely legal violation of privacy. The second degree assault with a deadly weapon charge was subsequently dropped but O’Kelly was held in jail on a $250,000 bond for roughly a week. He remains charged with harassment.
Lynn Kimbrough, spokesperson for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, told the Colorado Independent Thursday that the attempted second-degree assault with a deadly weapon charge against HIV-positive William O’Kelly for allegedly spitting on another man, was being dropped. She said the DA would continue to pursue a harassment charge.