Judge Dismisses Felony Against Chiacchia Darren Chiacchia competing at Rocking Horse. Photo used with permission. © 2011 Xpress Foto

Judge Dismisses Felony Against Chiacchia

A Circuit Judge ruled in favor of the defense yesterday when he dismissed the felony charge against former Olympian Darren Chiacchia.

According to Judge Hale Stancil, his decision was bound by the recent ruling made by the Florida 2nd District Court of Appeal, stating the sex covered in the statute was exclusive to a man and a woman.

The decision came after Chiacchia’s attorney Baron Coleman filed a motion for the case to be dismissed. Coleman told Rate My Horse PRO in July that he didn’t believe there were legal grounds to prosecute his client after the 2nd DCA ruling. Coleman says, “This is justice for Darren and a chance for him to put his life and career back together.”

Chiacchia released a statement through his attorney saying, “There are no set of facts … the state could put forward that would show I am guilty … I am innocent and I have maintained my innocence from day one.”

Chiacchia was arrested in early 2010 after his partner made allegations that Chiacchia didn’t tell him he was HIV positive. In 1997, Florida passed a law making it a felony for those with HIV not to inform their sexual partners of their condition.

The state attorney’s office reports it has filed a notice of intent to appeal.