One juror, who asked not to be identified, cried as she hugged a victim. The trial had been helpful to her, she told the woman, because, "I have a daughter that's 19 and I don't tell her a lot of things. "It just takes one time to destroy your life," she said shaking her head.
Another juror stated that they had to remove themselves emotionally from the testimony, finding that Padieu was guilty of aggravated assault. The 45 year sentence was a compromise between prosecutors that wanted life and the defense, who wanted 20 years.
One victim, who remained anonymous, stated that she wishes that she could kill herself because of the stigma surrounding AIDS.
"I consider suicide, because it would be so much easier. It's a battle every single day....If I had cancer, I could tell people - I could tell them without fear or embarrassment or shame."
"I wish you no harm," she said, "And I pray that I can forgive. And I pray for a cure for us all.'"
Another victim "thanked" Padieu for "introducing me to a group of 10 incredibly beautiful, brave women who had the guts to stand up here and tell the world their most embarrassing moments to make sure you were stopped. I still wonder why you did this, but I'm not going to let it consume me. Our friendship will last long after you're gone."
Padieu's attorney, Bennie House, said the sentence was "better than life," but he didn't call it a victory.
House said he felt Padieu should not have been prosecuted in the first place because, unlike some other states, Texas does not have an "HIV law" specifically criminalizing the intentional spreading of the sexually transmitted disease. Prosecuting Padieu for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon "absolutely opens the door for any STD prosecution," or even diseases such as swine flu, he said.
Padieu will have to serve 50%, or 22 1/2 years, before being eligible for parole.
This editorial explains why Padieu's victims are just as much victims as a person who gets shot.