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.