Darren Chiacchia Case: Police Report Summary and ESPN

John posted the complete police report earlier tonight (scroll down), and it is quite lengthy. To spare y’all some time, I will hit the highlights here. (NOTE: I am only using terms “suspect” and “victim” as described in the police report… it is entirely possible that Darren is innocent, and is the real “victim” in this story). For those of you linking through from non-eventing horse sites, Darren Chiacchia has represented the USA internationally multiple times, winning Olympic and Pan American medals in 2003 and 2004, and is one of US eventing’s most public figures.

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On 8/19/09, the reportee/victim met with the Ocala police.  He told them that he had a sexual relationship with his live-in boyfriend (suspect Darren Chiacchia) between February and June of 2009.  The victim stated that he asked Darren multiple times if he’d had an AIDS test; Darren told the victim that he had, and his test was negative.  While vacationing at Darren’s home in  New York, the victim happened to find evidence saying that Darren was HIV positive.  Victim confronted Darren, who explained that it was a false-positive.  The relationship ended.  The victim called Darren several times about the test results.  Eventually Darren told him that he was, in fact, HIV positive and had been for several years, and did not tell the victim because Darren did not trust the victim and was worried about his reputation.

The victim had an HIV test taken, results were negative at the time, but victim stated that he’d need several more tests to determine whether he had HIV or not.

 

The officer did a follow-up report on 9/2/09, in which the victim re-stated his whole story on a sworn DVD interview.   The officer’s attempts to contact Darren were unsuccessful.  Officer advised the victim to get a tape recorder and record any phone conversations with the suspect. 

The next day, 9/3/09, the victim brought a recording of a phone conversation between him and Darren to the police department.  In the conversation, Darren stated that he did not tell the victim he was HIV positive becasue the did not think the victim was trustworthy.  Darren also told the victim that he knew he was infected with HIV prior to their relationship, but his numbers were low; also that the victim is very naive if he (victim) thinks he has never slept with anyone not invected with HIV.

In another follow up, 10/13/09, the officer states that he was attempting to obtain Darren’s medical records, waiting for a hearing (perhaps this is why the case took until now?).  The last follow up closes the case, announcing Darren’s arrest on 1/20/2010.

 

For more information, here is a link to the story as reported by the local paper, on Ocala.com. 

According to the article, the charge is a third-degree felony degree, and could be upgraded to a first-degree felony if he is found guilty to have committed multiple violations of the crime.  (NOTE: no other violations are known!)

In Florida, first degree felonies are punishable by no more than 30 years in prison, and third degree by no more than 5 years.  FL Law.

Other media outlets are picking up on the story.  For example, H&H has this post, Horsetalk has this, and the story has officially gone mainstream with the this bit from the USA Today, and the same on ESPN.  Also, read about the story in French.

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