State v. Ortiz, 238 N.C. App. 508 (Dec. 31, 2014)

In this sexual assault case, the State was not excused by G.S. 130A-143 (prohibiting the public disclosure of the identity of persons with certain communicable diseases) from pleading in the indictment the existence of the non-statutory aggravating factor that the defendant committed the sexual assault knowing that he was HIV positive. The court disagreed with the State’s argument that alleging the non-statutory aggravating factor would have violated G.S. 130A-143. It explained:

This Court finds no inherent conflict between N.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-143 and N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-1340.16(a4). We acknowledge that indictments are public records and as such, may generally be made available upon request by a citizen. However, if the State was concerned that including the aggravating factor in the indictment would violate N.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-143, it could have requested a court order in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 130A-143(6), which allows for the release of such identifying information “pursuant to [a] subpoena or court order.” Alternatively, the State could have sought to seal the indictment. (citations omitted)