German Pop Star Found Guilty for HIV Transmission, but Gets No Jail Time
August 26, 2010
After a two-week trial, a German court has found Nadja Benaissa, a member of the pop group No Angels, guilty of causing bodily harm to an ex-boyfriend for having unprotected sex with him, not disclosing that she had HIV, and ultimately infecting him with the virus. While she could have been sentenced up to 10 years for this offense under German law, she instead received a two-year suspended sentence, mandatory counseling and 300 hours of community service with people who are living with HIV.
Although a media firestorm exploded over whether Benaissa was remorseful because she smirked throughout the trial, the judge thought she was regretful for her actions and handed down a lenient sentence. CNN reported:
This trial, to which the global media paid a tremendous amount of attention, brought up a myriad of issues about HIV criminalization, including the fairness of placing the burden of HIV prevention on those who are positive. Marianne Rademacher, a spokesperson for Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, told the BBC in response to Benaissa's conviction, "If the responsibility for prevention is put entirely upon women and HIV-positive people, we are not recognising the combined responsibility of two people."
Kellee Terrell is TheBody.com's former news editor.
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