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Man knowingly transmitted HIV, police say
  November 21, 2008
By S. BRADY CALHOUN / Panama City News Herald Writer
PANAMA CITY - An HIV-positive Panama City Beach man has been charged with having sex with a woman without telling her he had the disease.
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is the virus that can lead to AIDS.
Russell Gable, 48, of 108 Gulf Highlands Blvd., had sex with an unconscious 24-year-old at a hotel on U.S. 98, Panama City investigators reported. According to an arrest warrant, witnesses at the scene are prepared to testify that the woman was incapable of making a decision during the incident, which was first reported to authorities Nov. 15. The document also states Gable is HIV-positive and tested positive for Hepatitis C.
Gable is being held on a $50,000 bond in the Bay County jail. He refused an interview request Friday.
Incident reports from the Panama City Police Department provide an incomplete picture of what happened. In one report, the victim states she was kidnapped and violated. A later report states that after calling officers, the woman declined to press charges against the suspect and the case was dropped.
Panama City Police Capt. Marc Aviles said that during the investigation detectives gathered enough evidence to prove the HIV charge against Gable, but they do not believe the woman was kidnapped.
Authorities obtained a warrant for Gable on Tuesday, charging him with transmission of a sexually transmitted disease.
Aviles said this charge is rare for Panama City.
"One of the reasons why (it's rare) is that most of the people involved in it don't report it to the police department," Aviles said. "Even in this situation, the victim isn't prosecuting; we're prosecuting through the state on this one because of the circumstances involved."
Gable previously has been arrested on charges of domestic violence, child abuse and possession of cocaine.
Aviles declined to release further details about the case, citing the sensitive nature of the incident. He also would not say if the victim contracted HIV from the suspect.
"The victim, due to the circumstances, just doesn't want to get involved any further," Aviles said.
The News Herald does not identify victims of alleged sex crimes.
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