The German pop star that was recently found guilty for knowingly spreading HIV to at least one of her sexual encounters was given a two-year suspended sentence. This judgment was chosen instead of giving her any actual jail time. 28 years old Nadja Benaissa, has known that she was HIV positive since she was 17. Benaissa will also have to do 300 hours of community service.
I personally think that they were entirely too lenient on this woman and part of the leniency I’m sure comes from them feeling sympathy for a young, attractive, popular, Pop star. However, by giving her such a lenient punishment, I fear that they are setting a precedent for the future. More people are being infected with HIV and if they feel that they can continue on with their lives as if they are not HIV positive, putting others in jeopardy and there be no repercussions for their actions then they will. Those without conscious will.
Benaissa was apologetic during the trial. “I made a huge mistake and for that I’m sorry.” These were among the many apologetic statements that she uttered during the trial. She might perhaps truly feel apologetic about her actions at this point but what about when she was having sex with men and not making them aware of her status? It has already been discovered that she has infected at least one man in recent years and had unprotected sex with at least 3 people and did not inform them of her status. That to me was a malicious act. She went on to explain that her fame made her fearful of revealing her status and that doctors informed her that the odds of her spreading HIV to others were unlikely. I feel that she has passed the blame of responsibility of her actions on to the doctors.
Although I do feel some type of sympathy for Benaissa, I do not feel enough for her to not have to serve any time at all for her crime. Which it indeed was a crime. She knowingly with held her status from someone and had unprotected sex with them and in return gave them HIV. She may have be naïve and beautiful but she is also selfish. It will be a disappointing effect of this if other HIV positive people went on to be as selfish as her and knowingly spread HIV and in turn were not punished for their crime once they have been outted. This woman should have served time for this crime.
I also wonder if Benaissa was a man, a regular Joe with HIV who was knowingly having unprotected sex with women and infected at least one, would his punishment be as lenient? Did Benaissa use the naïve damsel in distress move on the court?
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Via: Guardian UK