SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — An HIV-positive man in San Diego is facing charges of intentionally infecting at least two dozen other men with the virus that causes AIDS.
CBS News 8 in San Diego spoke with two San Diego men who said 29-year-old Thomas Guerra infected them with the virus. One man said he was speaking out to warn others about the alleged actions of his ex-boyfriend, who also goes by the name Ashton Chavez.
Guerra is the grand-nephew of the late civil rights leader Cesar Chavez, CBS News 8 reported.
The unidentified ex-boyfriend said 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 told CBS News 8. “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.”
The man said he was “hours away from proposing to this individual” and had spent multiple holidays with his family.
“His weapon is using his body to infect these people. Why? I don’t know why he’s doing this. He’s forever changing these people’s lives and these people have no clue what’s happening to them,” Guerra’s accuser said.
Guerra has been already been charged by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office with one count of willfully exposing his HIV infection to another person, a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in jail. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.
Guerra will be arraigned on amended charges on Tuesday after the alleged victim provided San Diego police with additional text messaging records that could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable by up to eight years in prison.