Ohio Sex Worker Knowingly Exposed Clients to HIV, Authorities Urge Testing

Marietta, Ohio – May 20, 2024 Law enforcement officials in Ohio are urging individuals to get tested for HIV after a sex worker, Linda Leccesse, allegedly continued working despite knowing she was positive for the virus.

According to authorities, Leccesse had contact with over 200 clients between January and May of 2022. This timeframe coincides with when she received a positive HIV test result. Leccesse primarily solicited clients on Market Street in Marietta, a city near the West Virginia border. However, investigators believe clients may be located across the East Coast.

“This case could potentially impact people from Florida to Maine,” said Washington County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Warden. “We’re actively reaching out to known clients, but urge anyone who may have had contact with Ms. Leccesse to come forward and get tested.”

The Marietta/Belpre Health Department is offering free and confidential testing services. “We understand this can be a difficult situation,” said Health Department administrator Barbara Bradley. “Our priority is ensuring the health and safety of our community. Please be brutally honest with us so we can provide the necessary support.”

Knowingly exposing another person to HIV is a felony in Ohio. Leccesse’s current court date is unknown.

Free and confidential HIV testing is available at the Marietta/Belpre Health Department.