DA Warns of Health Concerns After Man Arrested for Prostitution While HIV+
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.”
Kernan posted on the website doublelist.com 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.
Anyone who believes they have been victimized by Kernan is asked to call Bucks County Detective Lt. Robert Gorman at 215.340.8141.
Criminal charges are allegations subject to proof in court. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Contact: James O’Malley, 215.348.6298, firstname.lastname@example.org