LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Lehigh Acres resident Tony Paulino made his first appearance in front of a Lee County judge Sunday morning. He's accused of knowingly spreading HIV.
The 56-year old is facing two charges of having sex without disclosing his HIV status to his partners. That is a felony in Florida.
This is not the first time Paulino has been arrested. Wink News has learned Paulino was also charged with sexual assault but was never convicted.
"Wrongly accused. Somebody wants to make damage to him. I don't know why," said his wife of a year and a half, Maria Paulino.
Paulino says she's known her husband for more than a decade and insists she and her newborn baby are perfectly healthy.
"This is ridiculous. I don't know why this is happening to us. We're doing perfectly fine now. I don't understand this. They just did my HIV test at the hospital when I gave birth. It's negative so," she said.
Not everyone agrees with that assessment. Wink News spoke with a woman who wishes to remain anonymous but says she had a serious longterm relationship with Paulino and knows firsthand he is HIV positive.
"He's a sick person. When he contracted it I don't know. But he is," she said.
She also says she is relieved to see him behind bars and hopes this latest arrest will prevent him from hurting others.
"There's nothing you can do to change what he's done. these people are going to have to deal with it for the rest of their life," she said.
Paulino's bond remains in jail on $100,000 bond.