Two men say 29-year-old Thomas Guerra infected them with the HIV virus, and one man who spoke to KFMB-TV says he’s speaking out to warn others about the alleged actions of his former partner.
Guerra is a landscape architect who also goes by the name Ashton Chavez and claims to be the grand-nephew of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez.
His former partner, who has asked to remain anonymous, alleges that he and Guerra dated for a year before he discovered shocking text messages on Guerra’s cell phone.
“There’s hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of text messages where he’s talking about intentionally infecting people with HIV,” he said. “Texts where he’s stating he’s negative to people then bragging to others about giving people his ‘positive load.’ It’s crude, it’s… I don’t know how someone could treat another individual like that.”
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Currently, Guerra is only facing a single charge of spreading an infectious disease, a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum sentence of six months and a $1,000 fine. Under California law, a person with a sexual disease must disclose to potential partners that he or she is infected.
But Guerra’s accuser said he hoped his added allegations would boost the charge to a felony, which is punishable by up to eight years in prison.
The city attorney’s office says there is an ongoing investigation as to whether there may be additional charges.