California Man Accused of Intentionally Spreading HIV To 24 Men

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A gay California man who claims to be the grand-nephew of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez was accused on intentionally spreading HIV.

Thomas Guerra, 29, also known as Ashton Chavez, allegedly infected 24 men in the San Diego area on purpose.

One victim says hundreds more could be at risk.

Guerra would text and email men that he was HIV negative and then have sex with them, according to the San Diego City's Attorney office. Afterwards he would allegedly brag about having infected them.

Investigators say they found hundreds of texts on his cellphone.

One victim described Guerra as a “sociopath” who doesn’t understand how his behaviors impact his victims’ lives.

"His weapon is using his body to infect these people. Why? I don't know why he's doing this," the unidentified victim told CBS News 8.

"He's forever changing these people's lives and these people have no clue what's happening to them," he added.

Guerra was charged with one count of willfully exposing himself, a misdemeanor with a six-month maximum sentence and a $1,000 fine.

The city attorney’s office said they are investigating whether Guerra’s actions were intentional and more charges could be filed.

"You know in my heart I can't believe that. I cannot and I don't believe that he really is doing that. I don't want to believe it," Roseana Alvarado, a family friend of Guerra, told KFSN. "His parents were very angry when he found out he was gay. I took him in. He needed someone to love him."

Guerra is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Sources: KFSN, New York Daily News

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / NIAID, KFSN Screenshot