Man accused of intentionally spreading HIV - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused of intentionally spreading HIV

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Shocking allegations against a man who's HIV positive, accused of intentionally infecting at least two dozen other men, including, at least two here in San Diego.

Two local men say 29-year-old Thomas Guerra infected them with the virus. One man who spoke to CBS News 8 says he's speaking out to warn others about the alleged actions of his ex, who also goes by the name Ashton Chavez.

"There's people that are being hurt, and people that still could be hurt. His behavior needs to stop," the man said.

He says 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."

Photos show the couple's happier times.

"I was hours away from proposing to this individual. This is someone that I loved, I've loved his family, I've spent multiple holidays with his family, he's been home with me to my family. This is someone that I intended to spend the rest of my life with," he said.

Guerra has been charged by the San Diego City Attorney's Office with one count of willfully exposing himself, as an infectious individual, to another person, a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months, and $1,000 fine.

The original accuser in the case is another man who once dated Guerra. But that alleged victim has provided San Diego police with additional text messaging records that he hopes could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable by up to eight years in prison.

"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.

The city attorney's office says there is an ongoing investigation as to whether there may be additional charges. CBS News 8 also spoke to the original complainant, and he says it's too early to speak, he wants the legal system to run its course. He does say it is an individual's responsibility to protect themselves from HIV.

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