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Pattaya Daily News

27 August 2010 :: 16:08:36 pm 36776

German HIV Infected Pop Star Given Suspended Sentence

HIV positive German pop star Nadja Benaissa, accused of knowingly infecting a former partner with the deadly virus, has escaped with only a two year suspended prison sentence.
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Germany, 27th August 2010: German Pop Star Nadja Benaissa, 28, was found guilty on one count of causing grievous bodily harm and two of attempted bodily harm after admittedly having unprotected sex, knowing she was HIV positive.

The singer kept her status secret from her lovers, but has denied deliberately infecting anyone. At her trial in the western town of Darmstadt, she apologized saying she was sorry from the bottom of her heart and wished she could turn back the clock and make it all not happen. Benaissa is required to perform 300 hours of community service and attend counseling on top of her suspended sentence.

Knowing she was infected, Benaissa went ahead and had unprotected sex with three people without telling them she had HIV. One of her lovers, a 34 year old talent scout and a plaintiff in the case was confirmed as having contracted the virus. Medical experts testifying at the trial said that the three men were probably infected with the same strain that was relatively rare in Germany.

Benaissa said she had kept quiet about her disease as she was afraid of the damage it would do to her career which she admitted was a cowardly act, but claimed she had been informed by doctors that the risk of passing on the virus was practically nil. The singer was allegedly nervous as her verdict was read out in court, but was relieved at receiving a suspended sentence.

Dennis Wacker, the presiding judge told the courtroom that she was guilty of grevious bodily harm, because she had carelessly infected a partner with HIV without informing him of her condition, but she deserved a lenient sentence because she confessed to her irresponsible behavior, expressed remorse and learned to be responsible and deal with her illness.

The judge was aid to have described she was a drug addict at the age of 14, became pregnant at 16 and discovered she was HIV positive at a routine blood test during her pregnancy when she was 17. Benaissa’s lawyer said he was very satisfied with the verdict and having a very fair and speedy trial leading to probation.

An Aids Awareness group in Germany criticized the verdict stating that Benaissa’s partners carried a share of the responsibilities for becoming infected. Benaissa was arrested at a nightclub in Frankfurt in April last year, minutes before she was due to perform, spending 10 days in custody.

Reggie Colbeck

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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