Two Witnesses Testify Merithew Did Not Disclose HIV Status To Them During Trial

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The trial continued for the Kent County man accused of not disclosing his HIV status to a sexual partner in August of 2012.

Tuesday the man Merithew had sex with in 2012 took the stand to testify that he was exposed without knowing Merithew’s status.

Investigators said Merithew met the man on the gay dating website,

The witness then said he then  met Merithew at his apartment for an encounter.

The man told prosecutors he had a bad feeling about the incident, telling the court he contacted Merithew under a different screen name after the meeting to get the truth.

When asked for his status in that instance, he said Merithew admitted he was HIV positive.

The witness was married with young children at the time he met Merithew for sex.

The defense attacked his statement in which he said he had a bad feeling about Merithew ..

“Would it be fair to say you should have had a bad feeling for the last 10 years?” said Defense Attorney Christine Yared.

The defense also brought into question the man’s motive for coming forward.

“You`re mad at Mr. Merithew because you believe he put your family at risk?” said Yared.

The man said, “No. I`m mad at Mr. Merithew because he lied to me, and he told me he was HIV negative and he was positive. That`s what I was mad about because I do have a family and now I got to go home and explain it to somebody.”

To support their case, prosecutors brought a man in from Roscommon County who testified he met Merithew on the online site, in 2009.

He said Merithew also had sex with him without disclosing his status.

“During this whole time, he did not, inform me he was HIV positive. So I had no idea at that moment”, said the witness. “I found out later from his former friend.”

Because the victim was hearing impaired, the defense questioned whether he might not have heard Merithew tell him his status.

“I had no problem hearing what he was saying that night,” said the witness.

Testimony will continue Thursday.

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