Swiss "Healer" Found Guilty of Infecting 16 People with HIV, Gets 13 Years Behind Bars
The self-proclaimed healer and acupuncturist who intentionally infected 16 people with HIV has been sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison.
A Swiss court in Bern on Friday sentenced the 54-year-old man, whose name was not given, to a total of 12 years and nine months behind bars after he was found guilty of inflicting "serious bodily harm" by injecting his victims with HIV-tainted blood with a syringe, according to the Agence France Presse.
"The accused and no one else is responsible for the infection of these 16 people," said the head of court, Urs Essen, according to Agence Télégraphique Suisse news agency.
The unnamed man has been on trial since March 6, and he was found guilty of infecting more than a dozen people with HIV after blood analysis revealed that his victims were infected with the virus that causes AIDS between the years of 2001 and 2005. Prosecutors said that the victims were all infected with the same strain of blood. Most of the victims were the man's former music students and they are all still alive.
According to AFP, the trial took a dramatic turn last week when police were forced to storm the man's home. He had apparently barricaded himself after failing to show up for hearings.
ATS reported that when the court requested police to escort him to the courthouse, he refused to cooperate. He had locked himself in his apartment with a female neighbor for 24 hours and threatened to use a gun. Police later stormed the house and arrested both the man and the female neighbor.
Prosecutors had called for the "healer" to be sentenced to 15 years in prison. The "healer," has however denied the charges and claims to be a victim of a conspiracy.