An HIV-positive Macon man denied allegations Thursday that he had raped a 15-year-old girl, who later discovered she has AIDS.
During a bond hearing Thursday at the Bibb County jail, 43-year-old Torrence Fatai Thornton admitted that he has HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Thornton is charged in two separate indictments.
In one case, he is charged with statutory rape, rape, aggravated child molestation, reckless conduct and two counts of child molestation stemming from allegations that he forced the teenager to have sex between March 1, 2016, and Feb. 19, 2017.
Arguing during the hearing, Bibb County prosecutor Cara Fiore said Thornton had asked for explicit photos of the girl, but she refused. After he locked a door, preventing her from leaving, she took a photo of her genitals, Fiore said.
Then Thornton pushed the girl onto a sofa, where he raped her as she fought back, trying to get away, the prosecutor said. She said Thornton raped the girl multiple times each week for about a year.
A second case alleges that Thornton sodomized a woman while he had a gun between Oct. 1 and Oct. 2, 2016. He is charged with aggravated sodomy and reckless conduct.
Fiore said Thornton blackmailed the woman and forced her to have sex with him. The woman told authorities that a gun was beside the bed during the attack.
“She was very scared,” the prosecutor said.
Fiore said Thornton told the woman that if she told anyone, he and “his boys” would come back and “get” her. Then he “racked the gun” and left.
The teenager came forward after finding out she now has AIDS, the prosecutor said.
Thornton, who has past convictions for drug and gun charges and a terroristic threats charge, knew he had HIV, Fiore said.
“It shows that he has absolutely no care in the world about what he does to these victims. He knew what he had, and he did it anyway,” she said.
Thornton, who has lived in Macon for 23 years and runs a business, denied the allegations during the hearing.
“The whole accusation is false,” he said. “If I had just raped you, … you should have left the house and reported it immediately.”
Bibb County Superior Court Judge Howard Simms replied, “I’ve been in this business a long time, Mr. Thornton, and that’s not the way it happens, particularly with children.”
Fiore said the girl has described a detail about Thornton’s genitals that he also talked about when police questioned him.
Simms denied bond for Thornton, citing his criminal record and potential threats to victims and witnesses.
The most recent statistics available show that between 51 and 67 new HIV or AIDS diagnoses were made each year between 2011 and 2015 in Bibb County, according to the North Central Health District.