Manassas Journal Messenger | Dale City man pleads guilty to sexual battery

The Commonwealth agreed Thursday to reduce charges against an HIV-positive Dale City man charged with attempting to spread the virus to an Alexandria woman.

Damon Edward Thompson, Jr., of 14166 Relay Court, was originally charged with infected sexual battery. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor sexual battery Thursday.

“There are absolutely no [previous] cases in Virginia on this statute,” Thompson’s attorney Brett A. Kassabian said. “It went into effect approximately three months before this offense.”

Thompson was also charged with infected sexual battery of the same victim in Fairfax County, Kassabian told the court. That charge was reduced to sexual battery in Fairfax as well, Kassabian said.

Infected sexual battery “is a very unusual charge. It requires the Commonwealth to prove he had the intent to transmit the infection,” Kassabian said afterwards. “I believe the facts were insufficient to prove intent and the Commonwealth also recognized that.”

According to criminal complaints filed in court records, Thompson had a two-month long sexual relationship with an Alexandria woman in 2001. The victim told police she had sex with the defendant, with and without a condom, about ten times between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. He didn’t reveal he was HIV positive until December 2002, the complaint said. The defendant also told the victim he had been HIV-positive for 10 years, the criminal complaint said.

In order to prove the original charge, the Commonwealth would have to prove that Thompson not only knew he was infected, but also that he intended to transmit that disease, Kassabian said.

The law applies to syphilis and Hepatitis B as well as HIV and AIDS. It is a class 6 felony, carrying a maximum five years in prison.

The Commonwealth recommended 12 months in jail with six months suspended, a $2,500 fine and a year of probation.

Kassabian said to his knowledge the victim was not infected with HIV. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney D. Scott Bailey could not be reached by press time.

Staff writer Maria Hegstad can be reached at (703) 369-6594.

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