A man accused of knowingly spreading HIV has been ordered by a judge to stay off dating sites, specifically the gay dating app Grindr.
Thomas Guerra, 29, has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor health and safety violation. The Imperial Beach man is accused of giving HIV to an ex-boyfriend after assuring the man he was HIV-negative.
Guerra stood silently behind his attorney in court on Tuesday as prosecutors filed an amended complaint, naming the communicable disease Guerra is accused of transmitting as HIV.
The judge denied prosecutors' request to increase bail from $2,500 to $50,000, citing he had seen no evidence of additional victims or current online dating activity. However, the judge agreed to bar Guerra from using all dating websites, including Grindr.
According to court documents, Guerra assured the victim he was HIV-negative when they started dating in April 2013.
Guerra said he didn’t know about his infection when his partner contracted the virus, but the victim said he found text messages, videos and emails that proved Guerra knew he had HIV since 2007.
Another man who said he had been a former partner of Guerra’s told NBC 7 that Guerra would tell people he was HIV-negative, have sex with them and then brag about it.
Guerra faces a $1,000 fine and six months in jail if convicted. More charges could be filed against him as the investigation continues, according to the City Attorney’s Office.
Another readiness hearing is scheduled for Oct. 16. A jury trial is set to begin Nov. 13.