HOPE, Ark.–A Hope man has been formally charged by prosecutors in Hempstead County with rape of a child under 14 years of age and knowingly exposing another to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Terry Michael Wesley, 32, allegedly committed both offenses on Jan. 1, according to court records. The charging document in the case states that a person is guilty of the offense of knowingly exposing another to HIV when they are aware they are infected and fail to inform a person prior to sexual contact.
The document charging Wesley notes that prior felony convictions are being used to enhance the punishment ranges he faces if found guilty of either alleged crime.
Rape of a child is typically punishable by 10 to 40 years or life, however, Wesley faces a minimum of 25 years, a maximum of 60, or life with the enhancement. With the enhancement, Wesley faces six to 50 years if convicted of knowingly exposing another to HIV.
Wesley appeared before a judge in Hempstead County on Jan. 3 for a first appearance on the felony charges and two counts misdemeanor drug possession. Bond was set at $300,000 with a note from the judge that it must be paid in cash or if through a commercial bondsman, 10% of that, or $30,000.
However, Wesley is currently serving a six-year term of probation in Hempstead County he began in 2020 for passing a fake $100 bill at a local motel. A motion to revoke his probation has been filed. Offenders being held on a motion to revoke may be held without bond.
Wesley is currently being held in the Hempstead County jail.
The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Duncan Culpepper. A hearing in the case is scheduled for later this month.
Wesley is represented by Assistant Public Defender Jake Potter. The state of Arkansas is represented by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Eugene Hale.