Local News

Bragg Soldier Charged With Infecting Teen With HIV

Posted July 16, 2007
Updated July 17, 2007

— A Fort Bragg soldier is charged with knowingly infecting a teenage boy with human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.

Officers arrested Pfc. Johnny Lamar Dalton, 25, after a five-month-long investigation by Fort Bragg military police and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. Dalton is attached to the 82nd Airborne.

Dalton first met the unidentified boy, 17, in a gay online chatroom and then in person, said the boy's mother.

In November, Dalton's commander ordered him not to have sex without first telling partners of his illness, said a spokesperson for the 82nd Airborne. Dalton also signed a written order to that effect.

However, Dalton's encounters with the boy, who was in high school, continued, said a military spokesperson.

In February, doctors conducting routine blood tests found that the teen was HIV positive.

"To him, it was like a death sentence," said the boy's mother, who said she was with her son when the doctors told them the results.

"It obviously didn't mean anything for him (Dalton) to do it, because he knew he had it (HIV), and he willingly gave it to someone else," said the victim's mother, who said she keeps her identity hidden for fear of the stigma her family might suffer.

The boy, now 18, and his mother went to Fort Bragg military police and then to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

"My son received it (HIV) unwillingly," said the teen's mother. "If you willingly and knowingly ... and you purposefully do something, you should suffer the consequences."

After five months of investigation, officers arrested Dalton, who is married and has children, and charged him with crimes against nature, assault and assault with a deadly weapon.

Both the boy's mother and military investigators said they are worried that Dalton might have infected other people who have not come forward. The mother said she believes that the Army should have better control over soldiers known to have HIV or AIDS.

"Two families are now suffering because of an unfortunate set of circumstances, and all of us wish we could have prevented it," said Tom Earnhardt, an 82nd Airborne spokesperson.

The teen, who is now 18, is otherwise healthy and is not on medication.

Dalton is being held on $50,000 bond with a preliminary court hearing set for August 2. In addition to criminal charges, he could also be kicked out of the Army.

For the victim's mother, such charges do not erase the damage done to her son's life.

"When someone basically shortens your life, whether it's yours or your child's, you feel cheated," she said.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • bubbliebabs Jul 18, 2007

    Rev. RB.....Why should there not be HIV people in the military? All military members are given courses on procedures of wound care and casualty aid. If the soldiers have heeded to these standards and teachings, there should be no need to worry about contacting anything from a wounded colleague. HIV is not a casual contact transmission disease. Working side-by-side is not going to infect you. Infected military members cannot deploy, but they can do other useful jobs in the military.

  • bubbliebabs Jul 18, 2007

    tmedlin....I disagree that he brings shame to people in uniform over this. He is one person, the news and media use the fact that he is military to grab your attention and make the story. His actions have no affect nor reflect the military. It was his choice and it is his own people that did these things and not with military consent, advise or orders. Men and women have to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions. Only naive people would believe that the military is to blame for this soldier’s reckless actions. I bet you could go to any city in America and find the same situation with a man and his lover and it not be publicized.

  • bubbliebabs Jul 18, 2007

    As for the openly gay and proclaiming it on the Internet…have you seen his profile? Does it say “My name is PFC Dalton of 22nd Aviation Support and I am looking for a male companion to carry on a gay relationship with”? The Internet is a screen and a keyboard where you can enter whatever you want on and have people believe you. You can disclose as much or as little information as you like. Unless he said “I am gay” the military can not do anything because they are not allowed to ask him!

  • bubbliebabs Jul 18, 2007

    mc9bl.....You should look into your situation more. You can go to ncbar.org and look for the pamphlet entitled AIDS/HIV Infection and the Law. It gives the general statue laws regarding telling partners about their HIV status.

  • bubbliebabs Jul 18, 2007

    djofraleigh....Actually, because he is married, the military has the spouse’s name. It is required by the military and by the State of NC that all persons that an HIV person have sexual relations with, shared needles with or have (and been given the names of) be notified. The State of NC will do anonymous notification via the Health Department as will the military through Preventative Medicine.

  • bubbliebabs Jul 18, 2007

    DrJ…nowhere in any reports does it say that the Army knew he was practicing homosexual activities. This investigation started 5 months ago, and I am sure that during an official investigation, the Army is not going to start to process him out and risk the investigation process. Maj. Tom Earnhardt, a spokesman for the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg said Army prosecutors aren't focusing on the soldier's sexual orientation. The military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy allows gays and lesbians to serve if they keep their sexual orientation private and do not engage in homosexual acts. The law prohibits commanders from asking about a person's sex life and requires discharge of those who openly acknowledge they are gay. Has he openly acknowledged he was gay???

  • Get God Jul 18, 2007

    When you play with "fire" expect to get burned. That includes the teen. Time for each person to take responsibility for themselves and the decisions they make in their lives. Easy to pass blame onto someone(s)else. The Parents are to be responsible for their children and know what they are doing.

  • whatusay Jul 18, 2007

    How does the family know who the HIV came from? Why was he tested if he has no symptoms? What led them to the conclusion to be tested for HIV?

  • www.CaryYardSales.com Jul 17, 2007

    There are many things we need a cure for. We know unprotected sex opens the door for HIV & Aides; cigarettes does the same for cancer... Children always think...it won't happen to me!

  • lotsofivy Jul 17, 2007

    Have mercy!!!!!