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Self-Proclaimed Healer from Switzerland Gets 13 Years in Prison for Infecting 16 People with HIV

Mar 25, 2013 03:37 AM EDT

A man, an amateur acupuncturist and self-proclaimed healer, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for infecting 16 people with HIV-tainted blood by a Swiss court, according to media reports.

The victims were infected with the blood between 2001 and 2005. All the victims are alive and have been infected with the same strain of the virus, reports AFP.

The man has now been sentenced to 12 years and nine months in jail. Prosecutors had initially asked for a 15-year sentence for the man, according to media reports.

Earlier, Discovery news had reported that the investigation on the sham acupuncturist began in 2005 when Thomas Kaiser, a victim who tested positive for HIV, told doctors that he would have been infected from his teacher's (Maurice Goeller) acupuncture therapy.  

"The accused and no one else is responsible for the infection of these 16 people," Urs Essen, the head of court, told the ATS news agency, reports AFP.  

The man was on trial since March 6. According to AFP, he initially refused to attend court hearings and insists that the case is a conspiracy against him. Police had to storm the man's house, where he had barricaded himself, to get him to court.

The 54-year-old man says that the victims might have got the virus from unprotected sex and intravenous drug injections, Reuters reported.

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