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WOMAN FACES CHARGE FOR FAILING TO WARN RESCUERS OF AIDS RISK

When her fiance collapsed from a heart attack, Connie Lewis rushed desperately to a stranger and pleaded for help. She didn't say the dying man carried AIDS.

Now the off-duty police officer who gave James Cobern mouth-to-mouth resuscitation fears he was infected. And Lewis faces felony charges for not warning rescuers of what doctors and federal health officials consider a remote risk."The police showed up at my door right after the funeral services," said Lewis.

"They told me they were charging me with reckless endangerment," she said. "I just didn't understand because I would never hurt anybody."

Lewis, an unemployed nursing assistant, was jailed for five days. She was freed last week on $2,500 bond. Her case was sent to a county grand jury that will convene in September.

Police said Lewis, 37, endangered rescuers because she didn't tell them Cobern, 34, had tested positive for the HIV virus, until they had nearly exhausted efforts to save him May 22.

"I tried to tell them that at the time I didn't even think about it, that I was panicked," she said.

Larry Baker, the man who tried to revive Cobern, believes Lewis purposely withheld the information.