The trial started recently against an HIV-positive man accused of tampering with condoms prior to multiple sexual interactions.
Prosecutors argued 26-year-old hairdresser Daryll Rowe of Edinburgh, Scotland, infected at least four men in an deliberate attempt to spread the potentially deadly virus.
One victim reported finding a used condom in the sink after he had sex with Rowe.
“He was extremely concerned and upset about this and repeatedly asked Daryll Rowe whether he was clean, which he said he was,” prosecutor Caroline Carberry said.
In reality, Rowe was diagnosed with HIV in 2015 and authorities believe he spent much of the following year searching the dating app Grindr for new men to infect.
He was arrested in 2016 after two former partners tested positive for the sexually transmitted disease. He initially denied having sex with the two men and being HIV-positive.
The trial comes after Rowe went missing while released on bail, leading authorities on a manhunt that ended when he was found hundreds of miles away living under an assumed name.
“With full knowledge, putting others at risk, he embarked on what was a cynical and deliberate campaign to infect other men with the HIV virus,” Carberry said.
She said the defendant “deceived each of those men into believing he was HIV-negative,” adding that he “reassured the men he was clean and when they insisted on a condom, he deliberately sabotaged the condom.”
Carberry said Rowe met at least 10 men during his pursuit.
“At least four have contracted the virus, others were lucky not to,” she added.
She also told the jury that Rowe’s doctors became worried when he declined routine vaccinations for HIV-positive patients, as well as antiretroviral drugs that would help prevent the spread of the virus.
Rowe allegedly added insult to injury by calling or sending insensitive messages to his former partners in which he discussed the possibility that they had contracted HIV.
In one case, prosecutors said Rowe called a victim and teased him about the potential diagnosis. That man went on to contract a similar strain of HIV.
Another victim allegedly received a text message from Rowe in which he crassly acknowledged being HIV-positive and tampering with the condom. The messaged ended with “lol. Whoops!”
[Featured image: YouTube/Daryll Rowe]