On Sept. 28, an HIV-positive Georgia man denied allegations that he raped a 15-year-old girl who later discovered she has AIDS.
During a bond hearing at Bibb County jail, 43-year-old Torrence Fatai Thornton admitted that he has HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, reports the Telegraph.
He is charged with statutory rape, rape, aggravated child molestation, reckless conduct, and two counts of child molestation.
It began when the girl refused to take explicit photos for Thornton, Bibb County prosecutor Cara Fiore said.
She eventually took a picture of her genitals after he locked the door and prevented her from leaving.
He allegedly raped the teenager multiple times each week between March 2016 and February 2017. Whether or not she was held captive that entire time was not reported.
The teenager came forward after finding out she now has AIDS, Fiore said, adding that Thornton knew he had HIV.
"It shows that he has absolutely no care in the world about what he does to these victims. He knew what he had, and he did it anyway," she said.
In a separate case, Thornton was charged with aggravated sodomy and reckless conduct involving a woman he allegedly held at gunpoint between Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, 2016.
According to Fiore, Thornton blackmailed the woman and forced her to have sex with him, warning her that if she told anyone, he and "his boys" would come back and "get" her.
Thornton denied the allegations during the hearing. "The whole accusation is false," he said. "If I had just raped you ... you should have left the house and reported it immediately."
Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms replied: "I've been in this business a long time, Mr. Thornton, and that's not the way it happens, particularly with children."
Simms denied bond for Thornton, citing his criminal record and the potential for him to threaten or intimidate victims and witnesses.
According to the Georgia legal code, a person who is aware of being HIV-positive can be charged with a felony, punishable by imprisonment of not more than 10 years, if that person "knowingly engages in sexual intercourse or performs or submits to any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another person and the HIV infected person does not disclose to the other person the fact of that infected person's being an HIV infected person prior to that intercourse or sexual act."
The law applies also to another Georgia man, Antuan Rapheal Howell, 35, who allegedly performed sex acts on a 15-year-old boy in January without telling the teen that he had HIV, The Telegraph reports.