A Greenacres police officer has been accused of having sex with women without telling them he was infected with HIV, and Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies say there may be more women out there who don’t know that he exposed them to the virus.
Police Officer Ervans Saintclair faces two counts of criminal transmission of HIV, a first-degree felony. He was arrested Friday and was released from the Palm Beach County Jail later in the day after posting $30,000 bond.
Saintclair is on administrative leave without pay, pending the conclusion of the criminal investigation, Police Lt. Brady Myers said.
“The Public Safety Department has 111 employees and a small percentage of them will make mistakes in life, some of them criminal,” Myers said in a prepared statement released Friday. “It’s a disappointment not tolerated by the director of public safety or this agency.”
Saintclair found out he was HIV-positive when he had his pre-employment physical exam for the police department in 2007, an arrest report said. Deputies started investigating Saintclair in 2013 after a woman said the police officer told her he was HIV-positive only after they had had sex several times in 2007.
The woman’s case couldn’t be prosecuted because the statute of limitations ran out, but deputies say the woman helped them find other women with whom Saintclair had more recently been involved.
Deputies spoke with one of the women Jan. 6. She said she met Saintclair when they lived in the same apartment complex in the West Palm Beach area. They started dating and having unprotected sex in 2009. The most recent time they had sex was in March.
The deputy told the woman that Saintclair had HIV, and the woman said she wouldn’t have had sex with him had she known of his condition, the report said.
Deputies listened in on a call between the woman and Saintclair, and Saintclair admitted to having had sex with the woman and denied having HIV.
On Jan. 13, deputies spoke with another woman who said she had had unprotected sex with Saintclair twice in 2010 at her home in the Palm Springs area.
The deputy also told her Saintclair had HIV, and she said she wouldn’t have had the unprotected sex had she been aware.
Judges signed search warrants for deputies to obtain Saintclair’s medical records from his doctors. Records from a Fort Lauderdale doctor show Saintclair began HIV treatment in September 2010, after he had learned of the infection from his primary doctor in April 2010, the arrest report said.
But records obtained from Greenacres show Saintclair has known of the diagnosis since 2007.
After taking the pre-employment physical, Saintclair was told his results showed his white-blood-cell count was abnormal and was told to go to his physician. Deputies say they found records that show Saintclair went to a doctor in the Panhandle city of Quincy who told Saintclair he was infected with HIV and to have only safe sex.
“It would appear that Saintclair had been diagnosed and/or knew of the HIV infection in 2007 as a result of the pre-employment blood testing by the City of Greenacres,” a deputy wrote in the arrest report.
The doctor faxed a letter to Greenacres officials, according to the arrest report, and said that the diagnosis wouldn’t impede his work as a police officer.
Palm Beach County sheriff’s detectives believe there may be additional victims and are asking anyone who thinks they might be to call Detective Mike Sclafani at (561) 688-4133 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 458-8477.