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Year in jail given man with HIV in sex cases Victims included 15-year-old girl

A Buffalo man who had unprotected sex with five women, including a 15-year-old, even though he knew he had the virus that causes AIDS, was sentenced to a year in jail Wednesday on his plea to misdemeanor charges.

Darryl Fortner, 20, of Sherman Street, whose victims also included a woman now pregnant with her second child by him, received five concurrent one-year jail terms on his July 7 plea to five reckless endangerment charges.

In sentencing Fortner, State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia stressed that a key "factor" in the deal was the unwillingness of the five women to participate in the prosecution.

The tall, gaunt Fortner admitted he knew he carries the virus that causes AIDS before he had sex with the women. He did not comment during the brief sentencing proceeding. His mother was in court but declined to comment afterward.

Under the plea deal defense attorneys E. Earl Key and Samuel P. Davis worked out, he will likely be released from custody sometime in December. He has been jailed since his arrest April 19.

At the request of prosecutor Andra Ackerman, the judge also slapped Fortner with five orders of protection, barring him from trying to contact any of the victims until April 19, 2016.

The victims "no longer wish to have contact with him," Ackerman told the judge.

Fortner was not forced to consider a felony plea after prosecutors determined that the unwillingness of the victims to cooperate meant they could not support a felony charge accusing Fortner of actions displaying "a depraved indifference to human life," court officials said.

In sentencing Fortner, the judge noted that a probation officer investigating the case for a sentencing recommendation was only able to get one of the five victim's -- the pregnant woman who came to court for the sentencing -- to even talk about the case with her.

The judge also noted the female probation officer who worked on the case felt that Fortner is capable of leading a law-abiding life, and that the five victims and their relatives were satisfied with the jail time Fortner faces.

Fortner had sexual intercourse with the five victims, ages 15 to 21, between December 2010 and this past March, according to court records.

email: mgryta@buffnews.com