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Published: Friday, 11/14/2008

Ohio man convicted for hiding HIV diagnosis


DELAWARE, Ohio A jury in central Ohio found a man guilty of felonious assault Friday for not telling a girlfriend he has the virus that causes AIDS.

Peter Ayala, 45, was charged in June under a state law making it a felony for a person who has tested positive for HIV to conceal it from a sexual partner. Following the verdict, Delaware County Common Pleas Judge Everett Krueger sentenced Ayala to five years in prison.

Prosecutors said that, from January through October, 2006, Ayala kept his diagnosis a secret from a woman he dated and had a sexual relationship with.

Ayala, formerly of Delaware County, testified Thursday that he did not hide his diagnosis from the woman. Public Defender Brian Jones said the allegation could not be proved because there was no hard evidence.

But a Delaware police detective testified that Ayala disclosed his status in 2007 in a separate criminal case and said he had not told anyone but his mother. Ayala responded that he had misspoken at that time.

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