A sex offender who infected at least 13 women with the Aids virus should be locked up indefinitely under a civil law meant to keep the most dangerous offenders out of communities even after they complete prison sentences, the state said Wednesday.
The attorney general's office described 33-year-old Nushawn Williams in court papers as a mentally disturbed, sex-obsessed drug user who was unruly and sometimes violent during his 12 years in prison and would likely infect more women if set free.
He pleaded guilty in 1998 to charges of statutory rape and reckless endangerment after his behaviour set off a panic in the small western New York town of Jamestown, where the dreadlocked convict was known as "Face" to the young, sometimes drug-addicted women and girls he charmed for sex.
Williams said nothing during the first court appearance in the state's efforts to have him confined.
Under a three-year-old statute, the state can lock up a sex offender indefinitely if it proves the person has a mental abnormality and is likely to offend again. Williams, whose criminal sentence ended April 13, would be held at a medium-security psychiatric facility, with his case reviewed yearly.
"I'm just waiting for him to come home. I feel like he did his time," his mother, Denise Williams, said after watching the hearing in state Supreme Court. "Ain't nothing wrong with him."
'I slept with 200-300 women'
In 1997, before Williams was charged, health and police authorities took the unusual step of making his HIV status public to try to stop further spread of the virus by Williams' partners - the youngest of whom was 13 - to others.
As lines for HIV testing stretched out the door of clinics in Jamestown, Williams said he did not recall being told he had the virus while in jail in 1996.