JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) - Prosecutors say Nushawn Williams infected about a dozen women in the Jamestown area with HIV. He pleaded guilty to statutory rape and reckless endangerment.
But now Williams' defense attorney says his client had a blood test that shows he does not have HIV, and Williams, who has served his full sentence, is fighting against the state's efforts to keep him in civil confinement.
In this case it'll be up to the State Attorney General's Office to prove "clear and convincing evidence" that Williams has a mental abnormality that requires treatment beyond his prison term.
News 4 legal analyst Terry Connors explains, "The state is now saying that because he possesses some type of a mental abnormality he needs to be retained in confinement."
Williams, who now goes by the name Shyteek Johnson, went to prison in the late 1990s. He completed a 12-year sentence for statutory rape and reckless endangerment three years ago.
"There will be expert opinions submitted to the jury, and they'll have to sift through it and make a judgment," Connors said.
The state is using a civil confinement law that was enacted in 2007 designed to keep dangerous offenders locked up. Just weeks ago Williams' defense attorney, John Nuchereno, made a stunning claim based on independent testing.
"He doesn't have HIV. He can't pass HIV," Nuchereno stated.
Connors believes this will play a central role in the case.
"It will play a pivotal role in the case because under those circumstances the jury will not be able to find the predicate, the foundation for the mental abnormality because he's no longer a threat," Connors noted.
The State Attorney General's Office disputes the results and the testing method that was used.
Incidentally, a constitutional challenge of a similar confinement statute in Kansas made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The primary challenge was that it did not afford the individual due process of law.
Connors explains, "Supreme Court said that under the circumstances of that statute it provided adequate due process, and did not overturn it as unconstitutional."
In New York State, there have been 345 court decisions regarding civil management between 2007 and 2011. Mental abnormality was found in 287 of the cases, 189 of which resulted in a dangerous sex offender requiring confinement.
The civil confinement trial is underway in Chautauqua County and is closed to the public because of the mental health aspect of the case.
For Williams to be released from prison, he will need a unanimous decision against commitment by this jury or two juries at two trials unable to reach a unanimous decision.
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