An HIV-positive homeless man was charged with alleged rape of a woman in Columbus, Georgia. Joseph Lee Sims, 55, was picked up by authorities from the Homeless Resource Network kicking and screaming that he did not commit any crimes. He is charged with rape, sodomy, reckless conduct HIV and giving false information to police. The victim identified the suspect and told the police that he restrained and raped her “near the river” in the morning hours.
“A background check is going to consider the criminal history but the warrant check is just to make sure a shelter is not harboring fugitives so it only makes sense so there’s no reason for police to come or sheriff to come to disturb all the many people there,” Homeless Resource Network Director, Elizabeth Dillard told WTVM.
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The 55-year-old has a prior criminal background for a similar arrest. In 1996, he was arrested for HIV reckless conduct, according to jail records. An HIV test can identify antibodies as early as three weeks after contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Judge Julius Hunter ordered Sims to be held without bond and the case was moved to Superior Court. He was given a $250 bond on the false information charge, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.
“I’m going to be free one way or the other,” Sims said as he was being accompanied out of the courtroom.