A Frederick man entered an Alford plea of guilt Friday to three counts each of second-degree assault and knowingly transferring HIV to three women.

Rudolph Jericho Smith, 37, was facing seven counts each of first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and knowingly transferring or attempting to transfer HIV to another person and was set to go to trial Oct. 1. He will instead appear in court for a sentencing hearing scheduled for Nov. 4 before Circuit Judge Julia Martz-Fisher, according to court records and a press release issued Friday by the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office.

An Alford plea means a person maintains their innocence but acknowledges that state prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them.

Smith remains in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center, where he has been held without bail since May 5 after he was served with a warrant charging him with additional offenses following his initial indictment, according to court records.

Smith first came to the attention of Frederick police detectives in July 2017 when a woman called police and told them she had tested positive for HIV after having sex with Smith and that she believed he transferred the virus to her, according to previous stories in The Frederick News-Post. More women were later identified, including three who came forward after Smith was charged with an initial indictment in April.

Police learned that Smith had used online dating profiles to meet women, according to previous stories.

In order to convict someone of knowingly transferring or attempting to transfer HIV to another person — a misdemeanor under the state’s general health law — police and prosecutors must be able to prove that the person charged was aware that they were HIV-positive at the time.

Smith admitted to detectives that he was aware he had the virus since at least 2014, but continued to have unprotected sex with several women he met, according to previous stories.

“The facts of this case are still very disturbing to me. For someone to intentionally transmit a disease such as this is horrible,” Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith wrote in a statement released by his office Friday. “These victims will have to live with this for the rest of their lives.”

Assistant public defenders Theodore Turnblacer and Jennifer Dayton, who represent Rudolph Smith, declined to comment on the case while it remains open.

Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.

Jeremy Arias is the Frederick city and government reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(5) comments

Biggie9105

Frederic County is turning into Prince Georges County with shootings , gangs, and crime, thanks to all the Ryan townhouses and the zoning for hyper growth

Crab0721

Why would the women not insist on using protection. People need to be careful because you don't know who to trust anymore

KR999

That was my point when this story first broke, and all the libs chastised me for it. It takes two to tango, and the women have to accept responsibility of their own for not requiring protection. It's just as much fault if they got HIV as it is his. Anyone who meets someone online and wants to jump into bed with them needs to use their brain and require protection, whether they be male or female.

LAR1

Castrate him.

FCPS-Principal

Lock him up. Lock that no-good stinking American citizen up for good. He's a walking killer, using his lousy stinking filthy ding dong as a murder weapon. He cannot be let out because he will not change. Like child abusers, child stalkers and serial rapists, if he is ever let out he will continue the same behavior. Lock him away.

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