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Wife of man accused of raping boy wants answers

Man, who is HIV positive, faces sexual battery, other sex charges

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The wife of an HIV-positive man accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy inside his apartment Monday told News4Jax she was hurt and devastated by the charges against him.

But Regina Nealy said that her husband, 53-year-old Tony Nealy, told her he is innocent, and as of now, she believes him.

"My husband told me that he thought the boy was 18 years old," Regina Nealy said.

She said Tony Nealy admitted to her that he had a sexual encounter, but he said the boy agreed to it.

"He said it wasn't a rape. He admitted that. He said it was consensual sex between the both of them," Regina Nealy said. "So I don't know, I am just going by what my husband said."

Investigators said Tony Nealy made the same claims to a responding officer but that he also admitted to police that he is HIV positive and never told the boy. Tony Nealy is charged with lewd and lascivious battery -- a second-degree felony -- and sex without disclosing HIV -- a third-degree felony.

Regina Nealy, who visited her husband in jail Thursday morning, said she knew Tony Nealy was HIV positive but said he was taking medication. They've been married about two years.

The victim, whom police said was older than 12 but less than 16 year sold, claimed Nealy forced him into the man's Arlington apartment and then made him perform sexual acts.

Police said after that happened, the boy ran to an apartment across the street. Elexander Knight, a family friend, said he's the neighbor the boy ran to.

"He ran over and just said, 'Can I use the phone to call the police?' Because he had just been raped, and he was shaking real bad. He used the phone, and I called his grandmother," Knight said. "I know him. I know him. He is not lying. He's a good kid. Real good."

Knight said the boy is recovering with his family and is doing OK.

Regina Nealy said she wants answers. She knows the allegations are terrible, but she's still standing by her husband's side.

"I am going to stick by my husband until the day that they let him go or whatever goes on," Regina Nealy said. "I want to see the truth come out of this. I want the truth to be known. I want the truth to be told about what actually happened. I want them to interview this young boy, whoever he was, and get this done and over with. Because my husband shouldn't be sitting in jail for something he did not do."

Tony Nealy remains at the Duval County Jail. He's being held on more than $1 million bond. Police said he has been arrested 51 times.

Click here to read facts about HIV and a list of the signs/symptoms.