HIV positive man arrested for prostitution; Bucks County DA warns of health risks

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Thursday, January 31, 2019
DA: HIV positive Yardley man arrested for prostitution
HIV positive man arrested for prostitution as reported during Action News at 11 on January 30, 2019.

YARDLEY, Pa. (WPVI) -- Bucks County District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub is warning of possible health risks following the arrest of a Yardley man for prostituting himself while knowing he had HIV.

Mark Andrew Kernan, 57, who resides at 1406 Yardley Commons, was arraigned Wednesday on felony charges including prostitution, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and criminal use of a communication facility.

It is believed Kernan has used his residence as a house of prostitution since at least December 2017 and previously lived in Philadelphia.

In an affidavit of probable cause, Kernan indicated to police he knew he lives with HIV. It is not immediately clear how long Kernan has been living with the virus.

"This is a public health issue. We are not making morality judgments here," said DA Matt Weintraub. "If you've had sexual contact with this man, seek a medical evaluation immediately."

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub warns of the public health and safety issue associated with the prostitution arrest of an HIV positive Yardley man, January 30, 2019

Kernan posted on the website where he advertised "erotic male massage" in the Philadelphia area.

The charges filed today against Kernan stem from an incident in early January in which a man met with Kernan at his residence in response to such a post. According to the complaint, the man reported that while at Kernan's home, he was provided with drinks that rendered him highly intoxicated as well as apparent drugs smoked from a pipe.

While impaired, he engaged in sex acts with Kernan and an unknown third person.

The man continued to communicate with Kernan under the direction of investigators, during which Kernan solicited him to return for a paid sexual encounter. In the messages, the complaint says, Kernan agreed to provide a number of services including sex and methamphetamine at a cost of $575.

District Judge Robert L. Wagner set bail at $500,000 unsecured.

The case was investigated by Yardley Police and the Bucks County Detectives. It will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Sarah K. Heimbach.


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