The case of Philippe Padieu, a martial arts instructor charged
with having unprotected sex with women without telling them he
was HIV positive, has gone to a Collin County jury.
During closing arguments in the criminal trial - which has
attracted national attention - prosecutors portrayed Padieu as a
Defense attorneys said the 53-year-old Frisco resident was a
popular ladies' man being prosecuted for his lifestyle.
Padieu is charged with six counts of aggravated assault with a
deadly weapon - his infected bodily fluids.
Assistant District Attorney Curtis Howard told jurors Padieu gave
the impression of being a "catch" for middle-aged women.
"He's a predator," Howard said, "and his personality is his
camouflage ...You've got a guy who's got all his hair. He doesn't
have a big belly. He's in shape. He drives a nice car, a
Corvette. He's French. He treats women well."
But, the prosecutor said, Padieu broke the law by knowingly,
recklessly and intentionally having sex with multiple women,
exposing them to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, without telling
Defense attorneys countered that Padieu was simply being
prosecuted for his colorful lifestyle.
Bennie House, one of Padieu's lawyers, said his client's partners
had a responsibility to practice safe sex.
"They should have invoked a mantra - no glove, no love," House
said. "If that didn't happen, they should walk out."
George A. Giles, another defense attorney, said that what Padieu
did does not constitute aggravated assault. He suggested that
prosecutors go to Austin to lobby for changes in the law if they
want to use the criminal code to address the practice of unsafe
sex by someone with HIV.
"When does he have to tell them or anybody he's got a disease?"
Giles raised the possibility that people could be prosecuted for
infecting others with swine flu if they didn't wear a mask or
wipe down a water fountain after using it.
If convicted, Padieu could be sentenced to five to 99 years in
prison on each of the six counts.