An HIV-infected man who had unprotected sex over three days with a woman he met at a Bethesda bar faces seven criminal counts of possibly transmitting the virus to her, according to Montgomery County Court records.
The suspect, Daniel G. Cleaves, didn’t tell the woman he had HIV. She found out while looking through his bag — after he had left — and reading medical records, according to the court papers.
“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me. I had to read it on the paper,” she wrote to him by text message, according to court records. “I’m going to the hospital right now.”
Cleaves, 28, is due in court Nov. 14. He was booked and released on Thursday on the seven counts of knowingly having HIV and attempting to transfer the virus to another person. Online court records do not indicate whether he has retained an attorney. He could not be reached for comment.
It was not clear if the victim was infected. A police spokeswoman declined to say, citing patient confidentiality.
Court records state she has been tested but do not indicate whether the results are complete or whether she would test positive yet if she had been infected.
Detectives began investigating the case during the summer after the victim came forward.
The woman said she and friends went to Flanagan’s Harp & Fiddle in downtown Bethesda on July 25, according to court papers. As their evening was winding down, Cleaves approached her group, and they began speaking. The victim, one of her friends and Cleaves left in the victim’s car.
After the victim dropped off her friend, she took Cleaves to a home at which she was dog- sitting. They watched a movie and started to become intimate.
Cleaves asked the victim about birth control, and she said she was taking the pill. At no point, the police wrote, did Cleaves offer to use a condom.
Over the next two days, the two spent time together, ate dinner and returned to the victim’s home.
On Tuesday morning, Cleaves said he had to go to a job. He later called, telling her that he needed his birth certificate. He asked the victim to look through his bag and bring him the certificate.
As the woman searched the bag, she spotted several envelopes and opened them.
She found medical documents stating that Cleaves was HIV- positive, according to police documents.
She met him with the birth certificate but was too rattled to confront him, according to the charging papers. She later sent him a text message.
“Do you have HIV?” she wrote.
“No, why?” he answered.
The victim told Cleaves about the records she had found,
“I should have told you,” he wrote, “And I am truly sorry.”
Cleaves also wrote that she might not be infected.
“It doesn’t mean you have HIV,” he wrote.
“Yeah, but now I have to take meds [and] be checked up many times,” she responded.
Cleaves also said in texts that he didn’t want their relationship to end: “I am not a criminal. I am not a bad person. I just made a mistake. . . . I just don’t want to stop talking to you because of this.”