Who is Linda Leccesse? HIV-Positive Ohio Sex Worker Arrested After Contact with Over 200 Clients

Authorities have urged anyone who had contact with her to come forward and get tested for HIV.

Authorities have arrested Linda Leccesse, a 30-year-old sex worker from Marietta, Ohio, who allegedly continued to engage with clients despite knowing she was HIV-positive. Leccesse's actions have prompted state officials to urge anyone who had contact with her to come forward and get tested for HIV.

Leccesse is accused of having contact with at least 211 clients across multiple states over the past two years. She became aware of her HIV-positive status after a test on January 1, 2022. Despite this knowledge, she continued to solicit clients, primarily on Market Street in Marietta, a small city in southeast Ohio near the West Virginia border.

Linda Leccesse

Washington County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Mark Warden addressed the issue in a press conference last week. "This case could stem anywhere from Florida up the East Coast, but there are local individuals that we will be reaching out to," Warden said, according to the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

The police have started contacting known clients of Leccesse to inform them of the potential health risk. Authorities are also urging anyone else who may have had contact with her to reach out. "They're not in trouble; this is public health awareness. This is not a scam," Warden emphasized.

The Marietta/Belpre Health Department is calling for honesty from anyone who may have been involved with Leccesse. "Anybody who may have been with Leccesse is asked to be 'brutally honest'," the department stated. Health department administrator Barbara Bradley added, "Marietta/Belpre Health Department is a judgment-free zone with full confidentiality." She also noted that relatives of Leccesse's clients and anyone who had sexual contact with them are also at risk.

Leccesse was arrested on May 13 for soliciting sex on Market Street. During the investigation, police discovered she had known about her HIV-positive status for over two years. She was subsequently indicted for engaging in solicitation after a positive HIV test, a third-degree felony.

Authorities continue to work on identifying and contacting all of Leccesse's clients. They stress the importance of testing and treatment to prevent the spread of HIV. Public health officials are available to provide support and resources to those affected by this case.