Philippe Padieu certainly had a way with the ladies.
Handsome, charming, suave and European, he must have been a
thrillingly exotic change from the buttoned-down actuaries and
divorced soccer dads prowling the suburban chain bars in Addison
and Collin County.
Perhaps his numerous girlfriends harbor some regret for their
failure to recognize him as a manipulative sex addict, a
narcissistic con artist on the make. Maybe they were a little
What they could not know, and what he actually lied to many of
them about, was that he was not, as he earnestly assured them,
"clean." He was HIV-positive, and he knew it.
Well, the party's over now. He was sentenced Friday to 45 years
in prison for aggravated assault for having unprotected sex with
six women without telling them he was infected.
There could be a lot more victims out there � bad enough to
disclose publicly that you have been hoodwinked by a compulsive
sexual glutton, much less that you have been exposed to the virus
that causes AIDS.
I can only hope that if there are former partners who have not
come forward, they have at least gotten themselves tested, and
governed their conduct accordingly.
It's fitting, in a way, that a man who lied so easily and
exploited people so casually ended his trial with a bizarre,
ill-advised rant that probably turned the jury against him as
much as anything else.
No longer the muscle-bound playboy with a waving resemblance to
Jimmy Smits that he presented at the time of his arrest, Padieu
looked the part of a reckless criminal in the courtroom this
week, scowling and gaunt with a whacked-out George Washington
Ignoring his own exasperated lawyers' advice, he took the stand
to blame anybody, everybody � the judge, the prosecutors and the
complainants, whom he tried to paint as a "hate group" of
"These women are in a very dark, sinister place," he huffed
self-righteously. "This is something they perpetrated on me to
deny their own responsibility."
You could dismiss this with an angry snort of laughter were there
not people out there who seem to agree with this jerk that the
victims are somehow "responsible" for their involuntary exposure
to terminal illness and premature death.
"You should take into consideration that everybody may have some
kind of STD before you sleep with them," wrote one smug commenter
to our trial-verdict story.
"Women were perfectly willing to have unprotected sex with this
party boy," wrote another. "No sympathy here."
Well, this is akin to saying that if an elderly person gets
swindled out of his life savings, or if a college girl gets raped
after passing out drunk at a party, they had it coming because
they just weren't mistrustful enough.
Yes, maybe they could have been more prudent. They could have
been warier, less vulnerable, less readily taken advantage of.
But that's what predators do. They seek trusting people who are
willing to believe them: I'll double your money. I'll make sure
you get home OK. I'm clean, I swear � I'm hurt that you could
The reason Philippe Padieu is responsible and his victims aren't
is that he knew what they risked in having sex with them, and
they didn't. He blatantly assaulted them as surely as if he had
fired a gun into a crowd.
He had the obligation to disclose, to tell the truth, to use
protection, to give his partners the opportunity to make an
informed decision. He, not they, knew the enormous risk they were
A number of readers have posted the annoying comment: "It takes
two to tango."
But this wasn't dancing � it was assault. And it only takes one
person to pull the trigger.