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MILWAUKEE — A Town of Waterford man, who reportedly worked as a tattoo artist in Milwaukee County, has been charged with six felony counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety after he allegedly had sex with six women without informing them that he was HIV-positive.

The man, Jason Taufner, 42, of the 4900 block of Northwest Highway (Highway 83), has two prior convictions for the same crime, according to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

The District Attorney’s Office on Friday issued a press release “out of public concern” regarding Taufner.

People who have engaged in sexual activity or were tattooed by Taufner and fear they may have been exposed to HIV are invited to call 414-278-4617 to speak with an advocate from the the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office’s Sensitive Crimes Unit.

Advocates are available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. They are able to assist potential victims locate accessible HIV testing centers and connect them with officers if requested.

The accusations

According to a criminal complaint, six women told police that they had engaged in unprotected sex with Taufner between July 2017 and October 2018, and each of them said that Taufner did not reveal his status as being HIV positive.

Each of the women said they had had sex with him multiple times and at least two of them said they engaged in sexual intercourse with Taufner in the back rooms of tattoo parlors, including Sacred Skin Tattooing in West Allis and Trust Tattoo in Milwaukee.

West Allis police reported that they had reviewed Taufner’s medical records and confirmed that he has been HIV-positive since at least 2006.

Phone calls from The Journal Times to Sacred Skin and Trust Tattoo were not answered Friday afternoon. It is legal for tattoo artists to have HIV, and they are not legally required to reveal their diagnosis to the people they are tattooing.

Taufner has prior convictions for battery and escape in 2002 and another escape in 2003. He was also charged with one count of disorderly conduct and one count of disorderly conduct with domestic abuse assessments in December 2018 in Milwaukee County. That case remains open.

Online records show that Taufner was being held in Milwaukee County Jail on Friday afternoon.

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Adam Rogan (SCHS '14, Drake U. '17) has been covering homelessness, arts & culture and just about everything else for the JT since March 2018. He enjoys mid-afternoon naps, loud music played quietly and social media followers @Could_Be_Rogan

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