An HIV-positive man accused of infecting 30 women faces life imprisonment as his verdict will be read on Friday.
Valentino Talluto, a 33-year-old accountant with the pseudonym ‘Hearty Style’ is on trial for allegedly targeting victims for unprotected sex over nearly 10 years.
Talluto was said to have seduced dozens of young women on social networks and internet dating sites, often dating several at a time.
The suspect, who discovered he was HIV positive in 2006, was said to have had sex with 53 women, infecting 30 of them before he was arrested in 2015.
Many of Talluto’s victims were reportedly students, some mothers. The youngest was 14 at the beginning of their relationship, the oldest was said to be around 40.
Investigators said the male companions of three of the women were also infected, as was the baby of a fourth.
Throughout the trial, which opened in March in Rome’s Rebibbia prison, the women described how Talluto had wined and dined them, claiming to fall in love before persuading them to have unprotected sex.
The women who had asked him to wear a condom said he told them he was allergic or had just been tested for HIV.
When the women discovered they were HIV positive by chance, due to health problems or after other women he dated raised the alarm, they said he claimed it had nothing to do with him.
It was gathered that some women stayed with Talluto for months after discovering they were sick. In the end, it was above all his chronic cheating — he juggled up to six relationships at the same time — that drove them away.
Also, each of the women described the horrors of HIV, from the stigma which distanced even family members, to the trials of treatment.
The defence maintains Talluto’s actions were “imprudent, but not intentional”.
The prosecution has demanded the bespectacled, stocky accountant get life behind bars for “willful injury” and causing an “epidemic”.