German Singer Found Guilty in HIV Trial

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com August 27 2010 9:05 AM ET

Nadja Benaissa, a German girl-band singer, was found guilty Thursday of causing bodily harm to her ex-boyfriend by having unprotected sex with him while knowing she was infected with HIV. She will not serve any jail time.

According to the Associated Press, Benaissa, a 28-year-old member of No Angels, received a two-year suspended prison sentence and 300 hours of community service after a court in Darmstadt convicted her. She could have received 10 years in prison.

“Benaissa helped her case during the trial, which began Aug. 16, by acknowledging she had unprotected sex despite knowing she was HIV-positive and saying it was a big mistake,” reported the AP.

The former boyfriend, now 34, claimed that he was infected in 2004 and only got tested in 2007 after Benaissa’s aunt told him the singer was HIV-positive. A scientist testified in court that Benaissa was the person who infected the man, based on the fact that both suffer from a very rare type of the virus.

Benaissa found out that she was HIV-positive at age 16 during her pregnancy. She told the court she hid her status from people because she was afraid of the potential reaction.

Some AIDS activists criticized the verdict for placing all the responsibility for prevention on the infected person.