He could face up to life in prison, depending on the circumstances, if he infected one or more people.
Although Sheen has yet to make a public statement, several tabloids from The National Enquirer to People have reported that Sheen is HIV-positive.
Intentionally or recklessly infecting a sex partner with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a criminal offense in many, but not all states.
More than 30 states have prosecuted HIV-positive individuals for exposing a sex partner to HIV, according to legal sources.
Every state has assault and battery, reckless endangerment and attempted murder statutes that can also be used to prosecute individuals for intentional or reckless transmission of HIV. In some cases, the victim does not have to be infected, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In California, where Sheen lives, anyone who exposes a sex partner to HIV by engaging in unprotected sexual activity without first disclosing their infection faces potential felony charges. But there is a loophole.
The person must act with “specific intent to infect the other person with HIV,” according to California’s Health & Safety Code.
“A person’s knowledge of his or her HIV-positive status, without additional evidence, is not sufficient to prove specific intent,” according to the law.
Where that leaves Sheen is open to question.
Last August, an HIV-positive San Diego man was charged with intentionally infecting at least two dozen other men with HIV. The suspect, Thomas Guerra had reportedly written hundreds of text messages talking about his desire to infect sex partners with the disease, according to the local ABC News affiliate.
In 2011, a Michigan man was charged with felony sex offenses after he told police he was HIV-positive and intentionally tried to infect as many people as he could, police said.
Rumors about Sheen’s health have been rife for years.
Sheen potentially spread the devastating virus to dozens of unsuspecting women, according to The National Enquirer. He was reportedly sued by at least one sex partner and reached an out-of-court settlement.
Sheen has been married three times and has five children – a daughter Cassandra, 21, with high school sweetheart Paula Profit; daughters Sam, 11, and Lola, 10, with second wife Denise Richards and twin boys Bob and Max, 6, with third wife Brooke Mueller.
It’s unknown whether any of those women are infected.
Most recently Sheen was engaged to porn star Brett Rossi, real name Scottine Ross. They ended their relationship in October a year ago, after eight months. Ross reportedly did not know Sheen was HIV-positive for much of that time.
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