Seven Years Later: Perpetrator and Victim in HIV Trial Speak Out
Diane Reeve’s private life was laid bare in a very public trial several years ago, and with nothing left to hide she is releasing a book to share what she’s learned and to inspire others.
In “Standing Strong: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Sisterhood and the Court Case That Made History,” Reeve talks about her relationship with Philippe Padieu and the trial that resulted in his conviction for having unprotected sex with multiple women without telling them he was infected with HIV.
Reeve dated Padieu for several years and thought their relationship was exclusive. She later led efforts to track down and coordinate women he’d infected with HIV and helped police and prosecutors build their case. She formed friendships with some of the other women.
“We kept a predator from continuing to victimize women,” Reeve said. “That’s the part of it that I feel most accomplished about, because he’s not out there anymore hurting anybody and I could not have lived with myself if I had allowed that to continue.”
Padieu is serving his 45-year prison sentence at a facility in Tennessee Colony, Texas, where he said he is part of a faith-based ministry and mostly keeps to himself.
He still believes his trial was unfair.
“I had no expert witness at my trial, I had no real attorney, I had a state appointed attorney,” Padieu said in a recent interview.
“My trial attorney died and I am filing habeus corpus on the second chair attorney,” Padieu said. “They pretty much sold me out – they didn’t investigate, they were useless, they just went with the prosecution version.”
Padieu is 60 years old, and is not eligible for parole until 2030.
Reeve said she did not write the book just to re-hash the trial, but also to raise awareness about the growing number of women being infected with HIV, and to inspire others who may find themselves in seemingly impossible situations.
“For a long time, I couldn’t touch it because it was too raw,” she said. “But I began to see the importance of making sure that the story got told for other people to help give them courage.”
Reeve launched the website Date Stronger to help women learn to protect themselves both physically and emotionally while dating, and “Standing Strong” is set for release in April.
See also http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Sex-As-a-Weapon-The-Movie.html