Local News

Soldier Pleads Guilty to Passing HIV Infection

Posted November 1, 2007

— A soldier pleaded guilty Thursday during a court-martial to knowingly infecting a 17-year-old boy with HIV.

Pfc. Johnny Lamar Dalton, 25, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated assault by means likely to cause grievous bodily harm or death and one count each of committing an indecent act, violating an order from an Army officer to inform sexual partners of his HIV and using marijuana.

Military judge Col. Patrick Parrish sentenced Dalton to 40 months in military prison, a reduction in rank to private and a dishonorable discharge. The prosecution had requested six years in confinement in addition to the discharge.

Dalton broke down in tears during the hearing, apologizing to his wife and his 4-year-old daughter for his actions.

"Of everyone I let down, I let her down the most," he said of his daughter. "I would just like to tell her I'm sorry."

Dalton joined the Army three years ago and learned he was infected with HIV in June 2006. His illness barred him from deploying, but he was able to stay in the Army as long as he could perform his job.

Last November, he was ordered not to have sex without first telling his wife or other potential partners of his HIV infection, and he signed an order to that effect, authorities said.

The mother of the unidentified boy, who is now 18, said her son first met Dalton in a gay online chatroom and then in person.

Doctors conducting routine blood tests in February found that the teen was HIV-positive.

"When someone basically shortens your life, whether it's your's or your child's, you feel cheated," the teen's mother said in July.

Dalton was arrested in July after a five-month investigation by Fort Bragg military police and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. He has been confined at Camp Lejeune since his arrest.

"We were caught up in the moment," Dalton told Parrish in trying to explain his actions with the teen.

Tarika Dalton testified that she would stand by her husband.

"My husband is not a bad person and is definitely sorry for what he's done," she said.

Spc. Camilla Milhorn, who has worked with Johnny Dalton at Fort Bragg, also testified in his defense.

"He's a great person who just made a bad mistake," Milhorn said.

The teen's mother said she would have preferred a longer sentence, but was glad the case had been resolved.

"I feel for his daughter. She's without a father now," she said.

59 Comments

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  • Timetogo Nov 2, 8:25 a.m.

    To those of you arguing monogamy... If he had been, would he have gotten OR given AIDS?? The odds are MUCH less these days... and we won't even get into 'fatherless' children and various other social problems caused by this attitude. But hey, you live your life how you want to and when the time comes, you'll find out how WRONG you were. :)

  • animalover Nov 1, 10:24 p.m.

    "he is a good person". I believe good people make bad mistakes all the time. But, this man was HIV positive and was lurking online for someone to have an affair with. This should be a lesson for anyone who is seeking anything online, relationship or a brief encounter. That brief encounter is likely to stay with you the rest of your life, if not that then shorten that life. BECAREFUL! Online can be used for good things but it also a playground for the very evil!

  • TexasKate Nov 1, 7:10 p.m.

    Did his wife know before he was arrested that he was HIV positive? She probably is also or she would not be staying with him.

  • clickclackity2 Nov 1, 7:02 p.m.

    Tarika Dalton testified that she would stand by her husband.
    "My husband is not a bad person and is definitely sorry for what he's done," she said.

    Is she kidding or just seriously brain washed?

  • Trivr Nov 1, 5:38 p.m.

    Yet another example of this disease spreading through illegal or immoral behavior.

  • jotoho99 Nov 1, 5:08 p.m.

    folks, come on its all about being responsible for youre actions, he knew he had it, killing him won't save the child, he is no good. electric chair an quick.

  • MAD MOMMY Nov 1, 4:36 p.m.

    HE IS GETTING WHAT HE DESERVES, I FEEL SORRY FOR THE KID HE MAY HAVE WANTED TO HAVE KIDS OF HIS OWN AND THAT MAN MESSED UP HIS LIFE. THEY SHOULD HAVE GAVE HIM DEATH PENALTY.

  • dohicky Nov 1, 4:23 p.m.

    No mistake, just a lack of commitment to his wife (it is called adultery), caring (didn't care that he could and most likely would infect someone) and lack of self control (affair with a minor or anyone as far as that goes!). If all our military personel had no more self control and respect of others as this guy we would be in trouble. Wonder if he did the same thing to his wife.

  • TLC2 Nov 1, 4:17 p.m.

    I agree w/ "happyncgurl" he should be executed - basically the soldier did commit murder. Think about it - he has Aid/HIV. He knew and he went online and met a 17 year old and then slept w/him without telling him all the facts. The DA should be charging him w/murder not let the Army get away w/giving him 40 months and a dishonorable discharge - that boy does not have much of a life left to look forward to. A 17 year is still impressionable - his whole life ahead of him and now it's gone...

    His wife has to be a saint - no way could I w/someone who had done that or let my daughter around her dad if he had done that No Way at all.. Talk losing trust...

  • Real Nov 1, 3:53 p.m.

    He is nasty. He knew about everything that he did. I do nt feel sorry for him. They should lock him up for attempted murder. Kids pay attention. Keep yourself protected.

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