Coming on 20/20: The Case of Philippe Padieu

Brian Fair, a criminal law expert at Baylor Law School in Waco, said the charge fits in this case. "To be an assault, you have to intentionally know you put someone at substantial risk," Fair told ABC News. "Padieu knew he had HIV and he knew he could spread it through sexual intercourse. So now that the person or persons has HIV, it can be argued that he knowingly and recklessly intended to cause them harm and bodily injury."

Although all six victims in this case were HIV-positive, there have been cases in Texas in which the same charge has been applied and the victim tested negative.

Padieu was born in France but came to the United States with his mother, who married a U.S. citizen, when he was 10. He faces a sentence of up to 99 years in prison.

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