A Collin County jury has found an HIV-positive Frisco, Texas man guilty on all six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after he infected his lovers with the disease.
The case against Philippe Padieu, 53, could create a legal precedent criminalizing the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease. He faces five to 99 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
The jury reached a decision Wednesday after deliberating for nearly six hours.
In closing arguments, prosecutors called Padieu a sex predator who knowingly, intentionally and recklessly infected six women with HIV.
"When you're a predator, you don't care, because that's what he wants. He wants access to anybody he can get," said Assistant District Attorney Curtis Howard.
Last Wednesday and Thursday, jurors heard emotional and sometimes tearful testimony from the six women.
"They consented to have sexual intercourse with him," Assistant District Attorney Lisa King said. "They didn't consent to being infected with HIV. There is no question that bodily fluid infected with the HIV virus is a deadly weapon and having the HIV is serious bodily injury."
Padieu was arrested and charged with six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in July of 2007. Padieu learned of his HIV positive status in September of 2005, his doctor testified last Wednesday.
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An investigation began in February 2007 after two women who tested positive for the virus contacted police. That's when Frisco police discovered four other women from Padieu's past.
Padieu's attorneys argued that their client is being prosecuted for his lifestyle choice, which was sleeping with lots of women, and said that in Texas, there is no law mandating that Padieu had to tell anyone he was HIV-positive.
"I didn't know lifestyle was illegal in this country. I really didn't," said defense attorney George A. Giles. "We don't prosecute people until we at least give them enough notice that they should be prosecuted for doing something illegal."
Defense attorneys said the women had a responsibility to practice safe sex just as much as Padieu, if not more.
"No glove, no love, pure and simple," defense attorney Bennie House said. "That should have been the rule. If that didn't happen, they should have walked out, and he should have too."