AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – A Dutch court convicted two men Wednesday for attempting to infect 14 victims with HIV in a bizarre sex case.
The Groningen District Court found the two guilty of severe assault for injecting semiconscious men with HIV-infected blood at sex parties between January 2006 and May 2007.
Peter M., 49, who was also convicted of rape, was sentenced to nine years in prison and Hans J., 39, received a five-year sentence. Under Dutch privacy laws, the surnames of convicted criminals are not released.
Prosecutors said they would appeal for higher sentences.
"By committing these acts, (Peter M.) has shown himself to have a serious lack of respect for the rights of others," the three-judge panel's written ruling said. "While he knew from his own experience what far-reaching consequences are tied to an infection with HIV, he repeatedly attempted to bring this same hurt to others."
Prosecutors had argued that the two men, along with a third who was acquitted of major charges, had drugged the 14 victims and intentionally infected them.
But in Wednesday's ruling, judges said while the victims all had HIV, it could not be proven that they were infected by the injections because they willingly took part in orgies where gay men had unprotected sex.
The judges also said allegations the victims were given GHB, known as a "date rape" drug, were also unproven.
The suspects were not charged with attempted murder since Dutch courts have held that HIV is a chronic illness rather than an inevitably fatal one.