Friday, August 15, 2008

When Cheating Becomes A Crime

by Jenna Jackson

Everyone is talking about Sen. John Edwards this week—but not because he got the VP nomination. He admitted (after several months of denying it) that he had an affair with a woman who did some video work for his campaign, Reille Hunter. He admitted it to his wife a couple of years ago, but had hoped to keep it a private matter. That, of course, is impossible if you’re running for public office. And the newest question is whether Hunter’s child was fathered by Edwards. He is denying—but, of course, his denials don’t carry much weight since he denied the affair for months and then admitted it in installments.

Our blog is about crime, and I know this isn’t a crime—except against his wife and children. Unfortunately, it’s not even that surprising in this day and age. We have come to expect people to cheat—especially men in high-profile positions, it seems. Edwards said he just got to the point of being very narcissistic, so I guess he thought the rules didn’t apply to him.

In a Texas case near the Plano area, a man’s narcissism and tendency to cheat DID rise to the level of a crime—at least according to Collin County prosecutors. Last July, Philippe Padieu, 51, (left) was arrested at an Addison nightclub and charged with four counts of aggravated assault.

His crimes? He was dating several women at the same time—each of the women thinking they were in exclusive relationships. Some of these “relationships” had been going on for years. But as much as most of us women would consider that a crime, legally, it isn’t.

His crime, which his girlfriends/victims discovered over time, was knowingly spreading the HIV virus to each and every one of them, according to his charges.

Padieu tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, in fall 2005, a police sergeant told the local paper. Police said they believe he "intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused serious bodily injury by creating a substantial risk of death by the exchange of bodily fluids."

He not only betrayed these women’s confidence and trust—he gave them what amounts to a death sentence. As a 48 Hours producer, I often speak to family members of victims who have been killed. But I’ve never spoken to the victim of a murder (even though it’s not called that legally) before he or she died.

When I first heard about this story, I was very sad for these women—all beautiful, independent professional women. They truly thought they were dating a nice man . . . and were shocked to find out he was cheating. Then imagine when they, one by one, discovered that they each had HIV.

This man has not yet been tried. And he, like everyone else in the country, deserves a fair trial. But I would not want to be him when each of those women likely takes to stand. She’ll describe their relationship, their discovery—and their sentence.

He is facing five to 99 years in prison for each count. My guess is the jury will lean toward the high side of those sentences.


Jan said...

This sounds like an episode of Law & Order. Except it won't be neatly wrapped up in 43 minutes, with McCoy staring down the perp as he's hauled off to jail.

Sex has become as dangerous as Russian roulette. Just as one would never put a gun to her head and pull the trigger to see if it's loaded; one should never have unprotected sex without HIV testing. It's just too dangerous.

It's a shame these women were sucked in by this creep and will end up paying with their lives for believing his lies.

Anonymous said...

Cheater’s Rap

John Edwards talked about Dad's mill,
While sleeping with a chick off the pill,
He lied and fibbed to the MS press,
And, awoke early to preen and dress.

His wife, Elizabeth, knew the lie in 2006,
But supported John in Iowa while sick,
They stole Hillary's honest votes daily,
And laughed on cue, and hiding Rielle.

Why did John lie like a cheatin' rat ?
No "New Deal" for the average Democrat,
While Obama and Hillary fought on the stump,
John Edwards watched Rielle grow a bump.

Now John's love child is common news,
And Fred Baron has money to lose,
Rielle, now nursing, has jetted away,
Even Geraldo has joined the fray!

John's affair has hurt his poor kids,
More than Clinton's cigars ever did,
A sordid tale that some call a crock,
The only winner, a loser named Barack!

Like dogs in heat, Edwards did pant,
Defined forever, just like Hugh Grant,
Tabloids paid to get the sleaze,
Is it John's baby, mister please?

Vote for John Edwards, give me chills,
Meet you for sex in Beverly Hills,
John, don't need to prove you ain't a gay,
Just pony up to compare your DNA.

See Barack in Hawaii like Bobby Vinton,
Unaware the DNC plans to elect a Clinton,
Edwards may face time from the tax man,
But not if a pardon is part of Obama's plan.

While Elizabeth cries over her brood,
Baby mama with John was not a prude,
Gone the innocent days of Tom Sawyer,
John gettin' love like a real trial lawyer.

Anonymous said...

I think it's fair to say high profile narcissistic women have the same issue...let's not practice gender bias even though this is a woman's blog

Soobs said...

John Edwards' affair COULD be a crime if he used his campaign money to buy her silence. Does anyone really believe that an "old friend" is using his own money to set Hunder (and the fake baby daddy) up in homes around the US?

The fact that he lied while running for president, is disgusting. I don't believe for a minute that this was "over" in 2006, nor that he informed Elizabeth in 2006. Why was Hunter on the campaign bus with him on December 29, 2006, and Elizabeth wasn't?

We shouldn't be so quit to claim that all affairs are private. Especially when they involve those in the political arena.