A former Plain Township man who is the subject of a federal lawsuit accusing him of spreading herpes to a former girlfriend was behind bars Thursday.

CANTON A former Plain Township man who became the subject of a federal court lawsuit and a local criminal case after he was accused of infecting his girlfriend with herpes surrendered to authorities at the Stark County Sheriff's Office Thursday.

A warrant issued July 2 in Canton Municipal Court accusing Christopher Baum, 52, formerly of 3049 25th St. NW now living in Fairlawn, of exposing others to contagion, a second-degree misdemeanor. The charge is punishable in Ohio by a maximum sentence upon conviction of 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.

Canton Prosecutor Jason Reese said this is the first case in the city where the charge has been lodged against a suspect.

The woman, identified in federal court records as Jane Doe, also has filed a civil suit against Baum saying he committed "rape, assault/battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud by concealment/misrepresentation, forgery/tampering with records and wire fraud," according to paperwork filed June 3 in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

The paperwork shows Baum is also accused of forging or tampering with lab records in Summit County to indicate he does not have herpes.

Herpes is an incurable sexually transmitted disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no cure for the disease, but medication must be taken daily to "prevent or shorten outbreaks." The effects "can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems."

"She's a brave lady for coming forward and pursuing her legal avenues," Reese said.

Baum was being held Thursday at the jail in lieu of $35,000 bond pending a Canton Municipal Court hearing.

Reach Lori at 330-580-8309 or lori.steineck@cantonrep.com.

On Twitter: @lsteineckREP