“I am not a monster,” Thomas Guerra told the courtroom before receiving his sentencing this week.
Back in August of last year we reported on an unsettling story out of San Diego involving then-29-year-old Guerra knowingly infecting his boyfriend with HIV.
The boyfriend was contacted by a former lover of Guerra via Facebook Messenger, who warned him that Thomas was a liar and HIV-positive.
“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’s accuser, who chooses to remain anonymous, said at the time.
Guerra was charged by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office for willfully exposing himself to another person with HIV, a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months and $1,000 fine.
Judge Lewis, who sentenced him, called the six-month jail time in the case a “travesty.”
“I think that’s a tremendous oversight in the law if this is just a misdemeanor,” she said. “If any good comes out of it, that this law would change” and become a felony.
Guerra pleaded no contest, and throughout sentencing showed no signs of wrongdoing or remorse.
In fact, he blamed the victim — in this case, his former lover of a year.
“I did not rape this person,” he told the visibly frustrated judge. “I did not take him against his will. Within 5 minutes of Grindr text messaging, he was there. So if you’re that reckless with your life, how can you blame anyone else for your actions?”
Evidence included 11,000 text messages he sent and 36 audio clips showing he was deceitful with sexual partners about being HIV positive.
“I don’t think in my 25-plus years in a law, I’ve ever seen somebody be so lacking of insight, blame or responsibility that you have demonstrated,” Judge Lewis told Guerra.