The Nevada Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a former Nye County substitute teacher sentenced to life in prison for his sexual involvement with a 16-year-old boy.
While a three-justice panel of the court overturned Brian Lepley's sexual assault conviction, the most serious charge, the justices let stand other convictions, including one count of open and gross lewdness.
In May 1998, Lepley got a life sentence for the sexual assault conviction and lesser sentences for the other convictions.
His attorney, Robert Glennen, welcomed the high court ruling and said Lepley could be eligible for parole soon on the lesser convictions.
''I'm glad the Supreme Court did this,'' Glennen said. ''Maybe now there is a chance he'll get out of prison.''
The Supreme Court found that Lepley's failure to disclose he was HIV positive didn't mean that his victim couldn't consent to the sexual act.
Justices said the victim consented to a sexual encounter but the trial judge erroneously let prosecutors argue that ''you can't give total consent without total disclosure.''
Lepley was charged in 1997 with 16 drug- and sex-related counts, including sexual assault and intentionally trying to transmit the AIDS virus. The charges stemmed from encounters with two boys who were 16 and 18 years old at the time. Neither of the victims has the HIV virus.