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Man With AIDS Sentenced To 99 Years In Prison For Attacking Girls

August 19, 1988

HOUSTON (AP) _ A jury sentenced a man infected with the AIDS virus to 99 years in prison for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl and then stabbing her.

Alphonso Percival Darden, 27, said ″it was a setup″ as he was led from the Harris County courtroom Thursday. He was watched by angry relatives and friends of the victim, now 9, and her playmate, now 10, who also was raped.

Although Darden was charged in both assaults, he was tried only in the case involving the younger girl.

Authorities revealed that although Darden tested positive for AIDS antibodies, the parents of the victims were not notified of the AIDS risk for eight months.

The girls testified that Darden got into their apartment Jan. 29 by posing as a security guard, sexually assaulted each of them while forcing the other to watch, and then stabbed them.

The victims said they escaped further injury by ″playing dead.″

Darden said in a statement to police that the girls allowed him to enter their apartment and then seduced him.

Prosecutor Pat Kelley said the statement was ″so preposterous″ and harmful to the defense that he read it to the jury during closing arguments.

Kelley asked for a life sentence, saying it was necessary so ″little girls in the future will be safe.″

Darden was arrested three days after the attacks. State District Judge Michael McSpadden ordered him to take the antibody test and said the results would be released to the parents.

A positive result in the AIDS antibody test means a person was exposed to the virus and may be infectious.

Police said Darden may have raped six other Houston girls, whose parents also don’t know Darden was infected with the deadly virus.

Vague Texas laws were blamed for the failure to notify the parents about Darden’s test result. Judges may order rape suspects to be tested for the AIDS virus, but what action is taken concerning the results is not clearly defined.

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