WICHITA, Kan. (CBS/AP) Air Force Sgt. David Gutierrez, a 20-year military veteran convicted of exposing multiple sex partners to HIV at swinger parties, has been sentenced to eight years in military prison and will be dishonorably discharged after serving his time.
A court martial judge earlier found the 43-year-old airman guilty on seven of eight counts of aggravated assault and violating his commander's order to notify partners about his HIV status and use condoms. The judge also convicted Gutierrez of indecent acts for having sex in front of others and eight counts of adultery.
The judge, Lt. Col. William Muldoon, delivered the sentence on Wednesday after a brief hearing, during which Gutierrez had begged between sobs not to be discharged so he could keep the military medical benefits he will now lose.
Before he was sentenced on Wednesday, Gutierrez told Muldoon that he was willing to spend more time in jail rather than lose the medical benefits he needs.
"The possibility of a future without assistance does scare me - scares me to the core," he tearfully said. "The cost of medicine is very expensive and I don't know if I can afford it."
Gutierrez, 43, apologized to the court, the Air Force, his family and his sexual partners. He said he thanks God every day none of his partners contracted the disease and asked the judge to have mercy on him so he can live to see his two children graduate from college and get married.