(credit: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office)

(credit: Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected a prosecutor’s effort to reinstate the conviction of an HIV-positive man accused of passing the virus to another man.

The high court affirmed a Court of Appeals decision that reversed the attempted assault conviction of Daniel James Rick of Minneapolis. Justices agreed the statute under which he was convicted was ambiguous.

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Gay rights groups said the state’s interpretation of the statute violated the rights of HIV-positive adults to engage in consensual sex even if they have told their partners about the disease.

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But Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman argued the statute was not ambiguous and was meant to prohibit conduct by people who know they’re infected but practice unprotected sex anyway.

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The Supreme Court says it’s up to the Legislature to clarify the statute.