Man Thousands HIV Infected

Man Thousands HIV Infected

Man charged in 2nd HIV-spreading case
David Smith's bond raised to $100K at arraignment

A Kent County judge declared that a man who had sex with people without telling them that he had HIV is a "danger to the public safety."

David Dean Smith was formally charged Wednesday with having sex with a second victim in Grand Rapids without telling her he was infected.

Smith, 51, turned himself into Grand Rapids police on Dec. 22. Authorities said Smith told them he intentionally had unprotected sex with as many people as he could over the past three years -- and he claimed that there were thousands of people. He said his plan was to infect them with HIV, which was meant to kill them, court records show.

Court records also show that Smith told police his latest fantasy was to a strangle a woman and have sex with her dead body.

On Tuesday, 24 Hour News 8 was only aware of one victim. Early Wednesday , Kent County prosecutors told 24 Hour News 8 that there is a second confirmed victim.

The second victim apparently did not know that Smith was HIV positive until she found his medication at his house, according to court records.

According to information obtained in a court hearing, the second victim allegedly had an ongoing sexual relationship with Smith starting in 2009 that ended in the middle of December 2011.

Court records list the address where the crimes allegedly took place in the 2200 block of Prospect Ave NE. The home was empty when 24 Hour News 8 went there on Wednesday. Neighbors said it has been vacant for a while.

The judge mentioned at the arraignment that there are mental health issues involved in the case. Smith also mentioned, "I have been working, and counseling, and going to different types of meetings to rectify this issue."

According to police, Smith was sent to Pine Rest for a mental evaluation after he turned himself into police last week, but before he was arrested.

Court documents also show that within the last few months, Smith was admitted to Pine Rest because he was suicidal. The documents indicated that Smith abused drugs, had tried to kill himself and didn't care if he lived or died.

The documents went on to say that Smith had a "desire to harm women" and was "sexually aroused by causing pain to females."

At the arraignment, Smith said very little, but did interrupt Judge Jeanine LaVille just as she was going to assign his bail amount, saying, "I would like to also tell you that I turned myself in for all of this."

Nevertheless, LaVille increased Smith's bond to $100,000 -- four times the bond he was assigned in the first case against him.

He is being held at the Kent County Jail on two charges of AIDS -- sexual penetration with uninformed partner.

Police are asking for a hot cash bond due the fact that they believe there is a threat Smith could kill someone.

Smith's preliminary exam on the first charge is scheduled for Jan. 4. The preliminary exam for the second charge is scheduled for Jan. 9.

Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth said that authorities are still looking into this case and trying to determine how much Smith's claims are true. Forsyth said other victims will have to come forward on their own in order for additional charges to be sought against Smith.

Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The virus weakens a person's ability to fight infections and cancer.

24 people were diagnosed with HIV and 18 were diagnosed with AIDS in Kent County through October 2011. 37 were diagnosed with HIV and 25 were diagnosed with AIDS in 2010.

Since the story first aired Tuesday, Lisa LaPlante from the Kent County Health Department said that more people have come in to get HIV testing. LaPlante said the Health Department cannot release the results of those tests right now. She said that the Health Department's fourth quarter numbers will likely be released in January.

The Kent County Health Department offers free, anonymous and confidential testing. LaPlante said it's important to get tested if there's a chance you could have been exposed, even if you don't have symptoms.

Anyone who believes they may have been infected by Smith must come forward directly to police if they want to press charges, as the Kent County Health Department is prohibited by federal law from sharing confidential HIV status information.


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