Friday, January 30, 2009
HIV fears in Brentwood
FROM NEWSDAY.COM BREAKING NEWS ALERT
Brentwood school officials say many of the teens have acknowledged contact with a convicted sex offender, 36, who has the virus that causes AIDS.
Up to 20 teens have had contact with sex offender who has virus that causes AIDS, school officials say
BY JOHN HILDEBRAND AND STACEY ALTHERR
4:23 PM EST, January 30, 2009
Convicted sex offender Robert Musmacker exposed a teenager to the AIDS virus, and others are at risk, officials said. (Handout / January 28, 2009)
Brentwood school authorities have been notified that as many as 20 teenage students in the district have had contact -- some of them sexual -- with a 36-year-old convicted sex offender who has HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
School officials said Friday that many of the teens had come forward themselves to acknowledge contact with Robert Musmacker of Oceanside, after his latest arrest.
Musmacker, whose 6-year prison term for first-degree sodomy ended in 1998, was arrested again on Jan. 8 in West Babylon, after a state trooper stopped him for speeding and noticed that his belt buckle was undone and that he had a 16-year-old passenger in his car.
As news spread of Musmacker's contact with students, many Brentwood residents voiced dismay that a registered high-level sex offender could have operated freely in their community.
"It offends me," said Grace Rivera, a local grandparent and one of 16,000 residents who received a recent letter from the district, notifying them of the arrest. "They should be where the police can keep an eye on them."
In the Jan. 23 letter, Superintendent Donna Jones said that Musmacker had been known to prey on victims as young as 12 years old. She also noted concerns that some youths may have been exposed to the virus that causes AIDS.
Suffolk County Health Department officials say it usually takes two to eight weeks after sexual contact for medical testing to detect infection, but that this can take up to six months in some cases.
Shaheda Iftikhar, the department's director of infectious diseases, said Friday that her agency was prohibited by law from revealing whether any infections had been reported.
HIV fears in Brentwood -- Newsday.com
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