Man Sentenced For Not Disclosing HIV Status, Tainted Jail Food Was ‘A Joke’

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jun 17, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-17 22:27:20-04

Jeremy Merithew will get a maximum of seven years in prison for using a computer to commit a crime and not disclosing his HIV status.

Investigators say Merithew had sex with a man last August without disclosing his status, meeting him on the website

He was convicted on two counts of not disclosing his status and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

The judge also addressed allegations that Merithew had tainted sandwiches at the jail with body fluid and gave them to other inmates to eat.

Those accusations were something that he wasn’t charged for, but lead to more points towards the scoring which can determine the length of his sentence.

FOX 17 first broke the allegations a few weeks ago.

That’s when other inmates at the Kent County Jail began to worry after hearing that sandwiches that Merithew had given them to eat were tainted with his body fluids.

They showed us the forms that the jail gave them for HIV testing.

Although the crime lab could find no evidence of fluids on the two sandwiches that prosecutors said were taken into evidence, they said what Merithew told deputies was still a big concern.

“The defendant’s own statements to the deputies, ‘did you put the special sauce in the sandwiches?’, his response was, ‘I said that I did that. It is only a crime if I fail to inform,” said the prosecuting attorney.

Defense attorney Christine Yared said Merithew was just joining a conversation other inmates were having about the sandwiches.

“He told me after the testing was done, he believed it was a joke,” said Yared.

Yared also said he wasn’t given the opportunity to clear his name.

However, Judge James Redford said the allegations were more than a joke, saying Merithew interfered with the administration of justice, like yelling fire in a crowded movie theater.

Redford gave him more scoring points toward a longer sentence because of that.

“There was certainly a substantial amount of discomfort and concern, and other inmates that had to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases,” said Redford.

He also addressed an issue FOX 17 broke before Merithew’s trial, that he had violated the conditions of his bond by creating an online profile on and soliciting sex.

Our findings, in part, got him thrown back in jail.

“Your client violated my bond,” said Redford.

“He did,” said Yared.

Although his past actions had played a role in the sentence, Merithew could have faced more time behind bars.

However the judge allowed the sentences for each count to run at the same time, leaving him with a minimum of four years and a maximum of seven years in prison.