Thursday, 21 September 2017

Czech man sent to prison for spreading HIV knowingly

ČTK |
23 June 2017

Usti nad Labem, North Bohemia, June 22 (CTK) - A regional court sentenced Czech Zdenek Pfeifer to 11.5 years in prison for spreading HIV knowingly today.

The verdict is not valid since he said he would appeal it.

The man was found guilty of causing bodily harm, spreading an infectious disease and other crimes.

Besides, Pfeifer was sentenced to cover the damage to some of his victims and to the health insurance company.

According to the indictment, Pfeifer learnt that he was HIV positive in September 2013. In the following two years, he had sexual contacts with some 20 men without telling them about the HIV virus. He infected two of them, one of whom was only 14 years then. He paid him for sex.

The age limit for legal sex is 15 years in the Czech Republic

Pfeifer denied having sex with the boy when he was under 15. He also claimed he had told all his sexual partners about being HIV-positive. However, the court did not believe him.

Pfeifer, who originally faced up to 12 years in prison, is to serve the sentence in a a top security prison.

The court imposed a higher sentence on him than the state attorney proposed due to aggravating circumstances.

Three men with whom Pfeifer had sex got infected with HIV. However, in the third case it cannot be proved that it was Pfeifer who infected the man as he had sex with several other partners.

Some of Pfeifer's sexual partners joined the court proceedings and demanded compensation. The youngest one, who is still juvenile, demanded 1.1 million crowns, while others tens of thousands of crowns each. The court approved the compensation.

Pfeifer must also cover more than 600,000 crowns to the General Health Insurance Company (VZP) for its care of the victims infected with HIV.

Pfeifer left for Thailand when the police were investigating him. He denied having fled. Detectives were searching for him from January 2016. A year later, he was detained on Phuket Island in Thailand. The local authorities deported him to the Czech Republic immediately.

Pfeifer has been in custody since January for fear that he might escape and continue to commit criminal activities.

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