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HIV-infected German singer convicted

By the CNN Wire Staff
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German pop star found guilty in HIV case
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nadja Benaissa was accused of failing to tell sexual partners about her HIV status
  • She is charged with causing grievous bodily harm and attempted bodily harm
  • One of her partners became infected with HIV

Darmstadt, Germany (CNN) -- A German pop star was found guilty Thursday of causing grievous bodily harm and attempted bodily harm for failing to tell sexual partners that she was infected with HIV.

Nadja Benaissa, 28, former singer in the girl band No Angels, was given a two-year suspended sentence. She was also ordered to complete 300 hours of community service with people who are HIV-positive.

The trial has been taking place at a court here in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt.

Benaissa had unprotected sex five times between 2000 and 2004 with three people and did not tell them she was infected, according to multiple media reports.

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One of her partners became infected with the virus. Benaissa had allegedly known her status since 1999.

Benaissa admitted not telling sexual partners she was HIV-positive but denied intending to infect anyone, telling the court during the trial, "I am sorry from the heart."

Benaissa had said she believed there was little chance of her passing on the virus and she did not want it made public because of the harm it might cause her daughter and the band, according to the German newspaper Bild.

Bild also reported that one of Benaissa's alleged victims told the court he had unprotected sex with Benaissa on about three occasions. He said he went to the doctor after learning of Benaissa's condition from her aunt, and discovered he had contracted the virus.

He told Benaissa: "You have borne so much suffering in the world," according to the newspaper.

No Angels became Germany's most successful all-female group after they formed on the international television show "Popstars" in 2000. The band reformed in 2007 and competed in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest.

Benaissa is appearing in youth court because she was 17 at the time of the first alleged offence.

The fact that Benaissa is HIV-positive was not made public until her arrest in April last year. She spent 10 days in custody after her arrest before being released on bail.

CNN's Phil Black contributed to this report.

 
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