Charges expected against McConnell sergeant over HIV exposures

WICHITA — Charges are expected sometime this week against a sergeant stationed at McConnell Air Force Base who may have knowingly exposed people to HIV at swinger parties, including one at a barn in Goddard, a military spokeswoman said.

Linda Card, chief of public affairs for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, said she expects charges to be filed in military court.

Court documents in the case indicate that a profile on an adult website showed that the sergeant attended 21 swinger parties from January 2009 to July of this year. Sex, often with multiple partners, is common at such parties.

Lt. Col. Andree Swanson said the investigation is ongoing, and the sergeant remains in custody at McConnell.

"There's a legal requirement to go to court martial within 120 days after he was placed in confinement," Swanson said Monday. "So it should be wrapped up by Dec. 9 unless defense requests a delay. It's Air Force policy to try to get it done in 90 days."

How many people may have been exposed to HIV at the parties has not been made public.

On Wednesday, Sedgwick County Health Department Director Claudia Blackburn will give commissioners an update on sexually transmitted infections in the county.

A county report says that the number of new HIV and AIDS cases has averaged between 45 and 62 per year for the last two years.

Read more in Tuesday's Eagle.