Courts & Crime

Air Force sergeant may have spread HIV at 'swinger' parties

WICHITA — When the military realized a sergeant stationed at McConnell Air Force Base may have knowingly exposed people to HIV at "swinger events" in the Wichita area, it contacted Mayor Carl Brewer's office and the Sedgwick County Department of Health.

It does that whenever a communicable disease may have been spread.

So far, county health officials haven't started tracking down people who may have been exposed.

They are still getting information from officials at McConnell that should help them track down people who may have been exposed, said Jason Ybarra, the county's senior disease intervention specialist.

"Obviously, we want to do this quickly," he said. "If someone feels they may have been exposed through this incident or any other incident, get tested rather than sit back and not get tested."

In Kansas, it is a felony to knowingly expose someone to a life-threatening communicable disease by having sex, donating body fluids or sharing needles.

Court documents indicate that one profile on an adult website shows that the Air Force sergeant attended 21 "swinger parties" from January 2009 to July this year. Such parties typically involve promiscuous sex, sometimes with multiple partners.

The sergeant was arrested on Aug. 9 after military investigators conducted an undercover operation.

He was ordered to pretrial confinement at McConnell Air Force Base and remains there, but he has not been charged, according to Linda J. Card, chief of public affairs with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

He awaits a hearing in September.

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