Washington County Sheriff’s Office warns of solicitation suspect with HIV


Washington County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Warden, third from left, talks about an HIV-positive individual in the sex trade that reportedly had sexual contact with more than 211 people. Also pictured during this morning’s press conference are, from left, sheriff’s Maj. Brian Rhodes, Deputy Doug Altman, Marietta/Belpre Health Department Administrator Barbara Bradley, Marietta Police Chief Katherine Warden, and Health Department Nursing Director Dianna Beck. (Photo by Michelle Dillon)

MARIETTA — The Washington County Sheriff’s Office issued a public health appeal following the arrest of an HIV-positive woman who reportedly had sexual contact with more than 200 people in multiple states.

At a press conference this morning, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mark Warden said that after the woman was arrested by the Southeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, it was discovered she had tested positive for HIV.

Deputy Doug Aultman said 211 people had sexual contact with the woman, and Warden said they are from as far away as Florida and up the east coast, with some in Washington County. Starting today, he said, the Sheriff’s Office and Marietta Police Department will be contacting all individuals they can to inform them and ask them to get an HIV test.

Marietta/Belpre Health Department Administrator Barbara Bradley said the department will offer testing and treatment services regardless of residence. She said people wanting testing and related to the case can call 740-373-0611, ext. 634.

Warden declined to identify the individual but did say they had been indicted Tuesday for engaging in solicitation after a positive HIV test.

Linda Leccesse

According to a grand jury release from Wednesday. Linda Leccesse, 30, of 101 Market St., Marietta, was indicted on one third-degree felony charge of engaging in solicitation after a positive HIV test. Warden confirmed the individual listed in the indictments was the subject of today’s press conference.

Read more in Friday’s edition of The Marietta Times

Michelle Dillon can be reached at mdillon@mariettatimes.com.

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