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San Diego Man Who Purposefully Spread HIV Sentenced To 6 Months In Jail

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Thomas Miguel Guerra, the San Diego man accused of having purposefully spread HIV to unknowing sexual partners, has been sentenced to a six-month stint in jail. Six months was the maximum penalty that Guerra could have been hit with for having sexual relations with at least 24 different men in the past few months, knowingly spreading HIV in each instance. Earlier this year Guerra pleaded ‘no contest’ to the charges leveled against him, and during his sentencing he refused to accept the terms of the three-year probation. 

Jan Goldsmith, San Diego’s City Attorney, expressed that during the sentencing, Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lewis explained that while the maximum sentence was being handed down, the maximum “was inadequate given the damage done to the victim and the danger to the public posed by the defendant.”

The victim who filed the lawsuit against Guerra first began to suspect that something was amiss while the two men were in a relationship in 2013. It wasn’t until after Guerra’s ex was contacted by another one of Guerra’s former sex partners who had similar suspicious that the man began dig deeper. 

Guerra’s ex would eventually discover 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." He soon after decided to pursue legal action.


San Diego Man Accused of Knowingly Spreading HIV Pleads 'No Contest'

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Thomas Miguel Guerra, a 30 year old man thought to have knowingly exposed a former partner to HIV, has entered a plea of “no contest” in a court hearing for his violation of California’s health code. Guerra is due to be sentenced on the 13th of April and is facing up to six months in prison along with a $1,000 fee. Previously he’d been ordered to cease any and all activity on online social networks commonly used to find sexual partners.

Guerra’s sentencing will be a first for San Diego, said a representative for the Attorney General’s office. While the city had never tried someone for forcible HIV exposure through sex, the representative explained, the Office was confident in its case’s ability to establish a story proving that Guerra knew what he was doing by having unprotected sex with his partner.

Establishing credibility for cases like this is exceedingly difficult given the events at hand. According to Guerra’s former partner, he first entered into a relationship with Guerra in 2013. In an effort to assuage the man’s concerns Guerra assured him that he was, in fact HIV negative. By May of 2013 the man, who had previously been HIV negative, learned that he was newly positive and insisted that the only man he’d been intimate with was Guerra.

Typically this is where these cases fall apart, as Guerra could easily claim that his partner was exposed to the virus from outside of their relationship. The man, however, claims to have been contacted by another man via Facebook informing him that Guerra was positive. The man dug deeper into Guerra’s life and soon found:

"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."

Guerra is thought to have knowingly exposed at least 24 other men.


Gay Couple Makes History With Navy's First Man-on-Man Homecoming Kiss: VIDEO

Sawicki and Brier kiss

After a seven-month WestPac deployment, the USS San Francisco (SSN 711) submarine warship returned home to Naval Base Point Loma in San Diego yesterday. With every return comes the ceremonial "first kiss" of sailors disembarking from the vessel, and Monday's kiss was particularly notable as it was the first time ever a male same-sex couple was chosen. Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Sawicki received nothing but support from his shipmates when the announcement was made that he had won the lottery, and while his boyfriend Shawn Brier was worried about screwing it up by falling into the water, the kiss went off without a hitch.

Watch an interview with the couple and peep one more picture of the kiss, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Gay Couple Makes History With Navy's First Man-on-Man Homecoming Kiss: VIDEO" »


Coronado, California Residents Give Gay Couple Heckled By Homophobe a Beautiful 'Do-Over' Wedding: VIDEO

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Last month we reported that Arizonans Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson were holding a wedding ceremony in Centennial Park in Coronado, California when it was interrupted by a man in a nearby building shouting "go home fags" and other anti-gay slurs.

The incident prompted an apology from the city of Coronado and the condo complex's Home Owner’s Association as well as an investigation by police.

Local residents and merchants who were also disturbed by the heckling banded together to organize a "do-over" wedding for the gay couple yesterday. The ceremony, organized by Coronado attorney Alisa Kerr and officiated by Mayor Casey Tanaka, ended up being a beautiful display of love in the face of hate.  

U-T San Diego reports:

The ceremony came off absent heckles or other such distractions.

The guests mostly included those who donated one gift or another and others who contacted Kerr and her friends with offers to help. It mattered little that they did not actually know the couple.

“I came because of the synergy they created with the attempt to turn this around,” said Rob Crenshaw, who brought his wife, Laura, to the party. “A wedding is supposed to be the happiest event of your life.”

Jackson and de Las Salas brought about 25 friends who were unable to make the August affair.

“We’re two men in love,” de Las Salas said. “That’s all.”

More photos and video of the ceremony, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Coronado, California Residents Give Gay Couple Heckled By Homophobe a Beautiful 'Do-Over' Wedding: VIDEO" »


Coronado, California Residents Give Gay Couple Heckled by Homophobe a 'Do-Over' Wedding

Coronado

Last month we reported that Arizonans Oscar De Las Salas and Gary Jackson were holding a wedding ceremony in Centennial Park in Coronado, California when it was interrupted by a man in a nearby building shouting "go home fags" and other anti-gay slurs.

The incident prompted an apology from the city of Coronado and the condo complex's Home Owner’s Association as well as an investigation by police.

Now, residents and merchants in Coronado are throwing the couple a "do-over" wedding, the San Diego Union Tribune reports:

The goal of the second ceremony is giving the couple a more positive experience and showing that Coronado is a welcoming community where discrimination won’t be tolerated.

“The people of Coronado, who said they wouldn’t tolerate what happened to us, have created a happy ending,” said Oscar de Las Salas, who will marry Gary Jackson again next week. “We never expected this. It’s incredible.”

The "do-over" wedding was led by four young women who were horrified by the incident and the effort has snowballed, the paper reports, throwing the couple a wedding that would normally cost between $15,000 and $20,000:

Loews Coronado Bay Resort donated a 300-seat venue, Coronado’s Blue Bridge Hospitality restaurant chain will supply the food, Coronado Cupcakery is handling the wedding cake and Vigilucci’s Ristorante contributed champagne for the toast, Kerr said. Many other local restaurants and merchants have also made contributions, she said.

Coronado residents are determined to show that their town is one that is welcoming to LGBT people. The police investigation is continuing.


San Diego Man Accused of Knowingly Spreading HIV Ordered to Stay Off Dating Websites

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Thomas Guerra, the 29-year-old San Diego man accused of knowingly exposing an ex-boyfriend and potentially dozens of other men to HIV has been ordered by a judge to no longer use Internet dating sites, including the site where he met victims. 

The Los Angeles Times reports:

A criminal complaint against Thomas Miguel Guerra lists one alleged victim. But officials from the city attorney's office said the investigation is continuing and more victims may be added.

Guerra has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

Superior Court Judge Dan Link rejected a request from the city attorney's office to increase bail for Guerra, now living in Imperial Beach.

But Link approved a request from the prosecutor to order Guerra to stay away from Internet dating sites as a condition of remaining free on bond.

Guerra, who is also known as Ashton Chavez, currently faces a maximum of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. However, his alleged victim is hopeful that additional text message records could prompt prosecutors to upgrade the case to a felony, punishable with up to eight years in prison.


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