News (USA)

San Diego man sentenced in HIV infection case

Thomas Guerra
Thomas Guerra

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego man authorities said intentionally spread HIV to his former boyfriend, and possibly several others, has been sentenced to six months in jail.

“I am not a monster,” a defiant Thomas Guerra told Judge Katherine Lewis prior to Monday’s sentencing.

The judge, visibly angry, did not agree, reports KNSD-TV.

“There’s no question in my mind that he’s guilty,” Lewis said. “There’s no doubt in my mind, Mr. Guerra would have been convicted” if the case went to trial.

Prosecutors say Guerra, who pleaded no contest last month to a misdemeanor state health code violation, claimed to be HIV-negative and urged his boyfriend to have unprotected sex. His now ex-boyfriend tested positive for HIV in May of 2013.

As outlined in the charges, his ex-boyfriend says Guerra intentionally deceived him about having HIV. The two started dating in April 2013, and Guerra claimed to be HIV negative, urging his boyfriend to have unprotected sex, the city attorney’s office says.

His boyfriend soon discovered message logs on Guerra’s computer, dating back to 2007, in which he references being HIV positive. Guerra even joked in text messages about having HIV and other people not knowing it, according to an arrest warrant.

At Monday’s sentencing hearing, a prosecutor said the evidence against Guerra included 11,000 text messages he sent and 36 audio clips showing he was deceitful with sexual partners about being HIV positive.

KNSD-TV has more:

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The judge called Guerra’s six-month sentence a “travesty” and said she wished she could have given him more time in prison.

She said Guerra showed a striking lack of remorse.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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