Colorado Bureau of Investigation records state Teresa Tomaino sold sex "with knowledge of AIDS."
She's outing herself as a prostitute, she says, if that's what it takes to "let people know that cops are making stuff up."
Safety officials offer no explanation for why Tomaino was branded with carrying the deadly, stigmatizing virus that she doesn't in fact have. The negligence — if not viciousness — in her case and at least one other suggest the city doesn't bother with details.
Tomaino is homeless and has spent many of her 38 years making bad choices about her body, drugs and the law. In 2007, she was busted for offering an undercover cop "a good time" in exchange for twenty bucks and carrying a crack pipe that vice officers found in her bra. She was booked on prostitution.
Fair enough. Though what happened next is sick.
After her arrest, someone with access to CBI records took it upon themselves to pile on to Tomaino's charges in the computerized database. A felony charge added without her knowledge accuses her of knowingly exposing clients to AIDS.
Health department test results disclosed by Tomaino read negative for HIV.
Prosecutors never pursued the extra charge. She learned of it this year, two years after the ticket, while seeking help to kick her drug habit, get a job and find a home.
"I was in shock. I still am," she says of the moment the letters A-I-D-S popped onto the computer screen when
a social worker called up her record.
She isn't the only one.
Kim, a 37-year-old Denver woman who also has worked as a prostitute, recalls the day she learned of the virus that she, too, doesn't have.