An Italian court sentenced on Friday an HIV-positive man to 24 years in jail for intentionally infecting 30 women.
Valentino Talluto, a 33-year old accountant, was diagnosed with HIV in 2006, but this didn’t stop him from having unprotected sex with at least 53 women. The youngest female was a 14-year-old student and the oldest around 40.
Talluto used the pseudonym ‘Hearty Style’ to seduce women on social media and online dating sites. He often had up to six partners at a time.
Many of the victims said he would take them to dinner and offer them wine before convincing them to have unprotected sex.
When the women asked him to wear a condom he would claim to be allergic or say that had just been tested for STDs.
Prosecutors had originally asked for a life sentence for Talluto. But, the court sentenced him to 24 years because it considers he did not cause an epidemic, which would have meant spending life in jail according to Italian law.
“Talluto has never cooperated, he has made false statements, he has always denied any responsibility, even in the face of the evidence. His actions were intended to sow death,” prosecutor Elena Neri told the court.
Talluto’s lawyer, Maurizio Barca, has said the transmission was not intentional and that Talluto had unprotected sex because he was “caught in the heat of the action”.
Reporters present for the verdict said victims embraced and burst into tears when Talluto was sentenced.
According to investigators, male companions of three of the victims were also infected as was a baby of a fourth.