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Equestrian rider accused of violating state HIV law

Jan 22, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

Well here’s something odd and random to close out your weekday. Darren Chiacchia, a celebrated equestrian rider who was almost killed in a riding accident in 2008, was arrested Wednesday for violating a Florida state law that required him to declare he was HIV positive to his one-time sexual partner. I went into this post vowing that I wouldn’t write anything about riding bareback, but obviously I’ve failed. I’m also wondering why equestrian riders wear those silly hats.

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.

When contacted by the Star-Banner, Chiacchia would not comment about the arrest, saying he wanted to get permission from his lawyer first.

He said only that the arrest situation was “pretty surprising and outrageous.”

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.
Chiacchia was a bronze medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Chiacchia charged with not telling sex partner about HIV []

  1. KingJoe! - Jan 22, 2010 at 12:59 PM

    What kind of person does this? How can you knowingly stare at person who has trusted in you and expose them to HIV? The penalty should be constant caning.

  2. Bobbie Santiago - Jan 27, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    He doesn’t care who he spreads it to…. but come on, the partner needed to protect himself…. he is responsible for himself… This should be a lesson to all… if you don’t know the person(s) past you are sleeping with or going to sleep with, USE PROTECTION… AND REMEMBER TO PROTECT YOURSELF… NO ONE ELSE WILL..