News from Ocala: Darren Chacchia charged with not telling partner he was HIV positive




By Fred Hiers
Staff Writer Ocala
A former U.S. Olympic equestrian rider and part-time Ocala resident, Darren Chiacchia, was arrested Wednesday and charged with violating a
state law that required him to declare he was HIV positive to his
one-time sexual partner.

The 45-year-old Chiacchia is also a Florida Horse Park board member, a 2003 Pan American gold medalist, and a prominent activist for the county's equestrian community. He also has a farm in the area and teaches students to ride.

The charge is a third-degree felony degree; it could be upgraded to a first-degree felony if Chiacchia is found to have committed multiple violations of the crime.

According to a Marion County Sheriff's Office arrest report, the victim told investigators that between February and June 2009 he and Chiacchia carried on a sexual relationship and had unprotected intercourse several times.

The victim told deputies that, while he and Chiacchia were vacationing in New York, the victim saw some of Chiacchia's medical documents.

The report redacts what those documents said, but the law Chiacchia is accused of breaking -- Florida Statute 384.24(2) -- makes it unlawful for any person who knowingly has "human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection" to have sex with another person and not tell them prior to the act.

The victim told investigators that he asked Chiacchia at the beginning of their relationship about his medical "status" and that Chiacchia told him he was negative for any infection.

The State Attorney's Office issued a subpoena for Chiacchia's medical records and obtained them. However, Circuit Judge Edward Scott ordered that the medical records be used only as part of the Sheriff's Office investigation.

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Replies to This Discussion

Very sad for all concerned. I have known Darren for years, long before his Olympic triumphs and I find it very disturbing knowing that he knew he was positive before the tragic accident of last year which then put anyone who was in contact or treating him at risk as well.
Heartbreaking for everyone involved!

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