A man who prosecutors say is HIV-positive has been charged with prostitution again.
Darren Garcia, 29, was arrested Nov. 6 after a police officer saw him offer to perform sexual acts in exchange for $50, Denver District Attorney spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said.
During the investigation, he was also allegedly found to be in possession of crack cocaine.
Garcia was charged with prostitution with knowledge of being infected with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a class-five felony, and possession of a controlled substance.
Prostitution is a violation of a city ordinance, and the person is typically issued a city ticket. But prostitution with knowledge of AIDS or an HIV infection is a felony charge, punishable of up to three years in prison, Kimbrough said.
Prosecutors do not know if he's infected anyone, and with the privacy issues concerning health care, it's unclear if prosecutors would ever know.
"This is one more reason why you don't want to be picking up people you don't know," Kimbrough said.
Garcia has been arrested at least five times for prostitution, mostly as a result or narcotics stings, Kimbrough said.
In 2007, he was arrested and charged with prostitution with knowledge of being HIV-infected. In that case, he pleaded guilty to attempted prostitution and was sentenced to 1 1/2 years in prison, which was the maximum sentence for a class 6 felony.
Garcia remains in custody in the Denver County Jail. His bond is set at $75,000. He is scheduled to appear in a Denver County courtroom on Friday, Nov. 13.
Colorado's law making prostitution with knowledge of HIV or AIDS illegal was enacted about 14 years ago to prevent a notorious Denver prostitute from spreading AIDS. She was eventually given a five-year prison sentence.
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