Tearful German HIV pop star escapes jail
An HIV-positive pop star broke down in tears on Thursday after a German court handed her a two-year suspended sentence for infecting a former sex partner with the virus.
Darmstadt (Germany): An HIV-positive pop
star broke down in tears on Thursday after a German court handed her
a two-year suspended sentence for infecting a former sex
partner with the virus.
The court in Darmstadt, western Germany, convicted
28-year-old Nadja Benaissa, a member of girl group No Angels,
on one count of grievous bodily harm and two counts of
attempted bodily harm.
Presiding judge Dennis Wacker also ordered her to do 300
hours of community service.
The glamorous half-Moroccan star, wearing a black top and
jeans, sighed deeply with relief when the verdict was read out
and shortly afterwards began to sob. She cried for several
minutes, hiding her eyes with her hands.
The singer had confessed to having unprotected sex and
keeping her virus secret but denied intending to infect anyone
during a trial that has sparked a media frenzy in Germany.
She had previously made an emotional apology during
closing arguments, telling the court: "I am sorry from the
bottom of my heart. I would love to turn back the clock, but I
The charges against Benaissa could have led to up to 10
years behind bars, but both the prosecutors and the defence
argued for a suspended sentence as she had admitted to the
crime and said sorry.
Medical experts determined she had almost certainly
infected one of her ex-boyfriends with the HIV virus, as they
both had a strain of the virus that is relatively rare in