Air Force court martials HIV-positive Kan. airman

AP News
Posted: Oct 22, 2010 7:00 PM
Air Force court martials HIV-positive Kan. airman

A Kansas airman accused of having unprotected sex without telling his partners he was HIV-positive will face a general court martial, the Air Force said Friday.

Tech. Sgt. David Gutierrez, 43, is accused of violating military law by having unprotected sex with multiple people, including some he allegedly met at sex parties in the Wichita area. Gutierrez is stationed with the 22nd Maintenance Operations Squadron at McConnell Air Force Base in central Kansas.

The court-martial has been set for Jan. 10 at the base in Wichita.

Lt. Gen. Robert Allardice, 18th Air Force commander at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, ruled there was enough evidence to convene a general court martial on most, but not all, of the counts initially charged. Three of the specifications _ involving allegations of obstruction of justice, adultery and aggravated assault _ have been dropped.

The charges that were referred to a full court martial include 10 counts of aggravated assault for each sexual partner. He is also charged with violating his squadron commander's October 2009 order to notify his sexual partners about his HIV status before having sexual relations and to use condoms. Gutierrez also has been charged with multiple indecent acts for having sexual relations in front of others. He also faces nine counts of adultery.

Gutierrez has been under arrest at the base since Aug. 9.

His defense attorney, Capt. Aaron Maness, did not immediately return a message left at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

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An Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury, was held earlier this month to determine whether there was enough evidence to go to a court martial proceeding.

Two women who testified at that hearing detailed numerous encounters where they had unprotected sex with Gutierrez, including at several so-called swinger parties in the Wichita area. Some of their sexual encounters were videotaped by the airman's wife.

A Topeka woman testified she asked Gutierrez whether he had any sexually transmitted diseases and believed him when he assured her he didn't.

Asked why she believed him, she tearfully replied, "Because he is Air Force. They have integrity. I trusted him."