On Wednesday afternoon, I received a call informing me that the Chronicle forums were ablaze with news of Darren Chiacchia’s arrest. Obviously, I was skeptical. However, I soon confirmed the police arrest report of Darren’s arrest Wednesday morning with a violation description of “HIV person having sex without informing partner.”
We posted the story and republished the full arrest report here
. Eventing Nation has since learned much more about the case.
Now, before I continue, please understand that I would rather be doing just about anything with my Thursday afternoon than investigating and writing about this horrible situation. But, whether it is live blogging the freezing deluge of Fair Hill, staying up half the night writing about the USEA convention, or just deciding to write a N&N post rather than going out with friends, we writers at Eventing Nation are committed to providing the highest quality and most informative eventing information anywhere, within the contexts of correct, polite, and fair journalism. We didn’t start the reporting on this story, but we will finish it.
**Thus far, Eventing Nation has determined from sources close to the situation that Darren Chiacchia had relations with the alleged victim for approximately 5 months in early 2009. At some point, the victim discovered that Darren was HIV positive, confronted Darren, and contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, which is handling the case. According to our sources, the victim aided the police in obtaining taped evidence against Darren.
Everyone needs to prepare themselves for the reality that this story is public, and that more information is going to come out. We believe that Eventing Nation is a means of covering this story by providing the pure facts without any commentary or rumors. We are working hard to get more information, and check back with Eventing Nation later tonight for what we find.
Eventing Nation contacted Darren for comment, and his representatives replied with the following:
“Thank you for your email. At this time Mr. Chiacchia has been the victim of an unfortunate claim and we look forward to the facts being presented. Due to the sensitivity of this matter his attorneys are handling all aspects.”
We all know it, but we can’t say it enough. Thankfully, in the United States, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and anyone who makes assumptions of guilt at this point is being absurd. We have extended a standing offer to Darren and his representatives to publish any response that they might have in a positive and fair format.
As a brief aside, please understand that we really appreciate your comments on Eventing Nation, especially those that criticize us. We expect comments to be polite, intelligent, backed up by logic, and respectful, especially to those involved in this case. Thus far, all the comments on this situation have been thoughtful and appropriate. But, we will be very quick to delete comments if things get out of hand.
Personally, Darren has always been polite to me, and I was a great fan of his during those incredible 2003 and 2004 seasons when he represented the USA so well at the Pan Ams and Olympics. We are all shocked by this story, and we wish everyone involved the very best.