A ZIMBABWEAN man living illegally in the US has been sentenced to 120 years in prison for knowingly infecting four West Texas women with the HIV virus.
Derick Nhekairo was convicted after pleading guilty to multiple charges that included aggravated assault.
Judge Rodney Satterwhite sentenced Nhekairo to serve two consecutive 60-year sentences for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury, with the remaining two sentences of 60 years and 20 years to run concurrently with the 120 years.
He is also required to pay $32,000 in fines for the four charges.
Midland County prosecutor Laura Nodolf said Nhekairo moved to the United States in 2000 and remained after his student visa expired.
She said he slept with 18 women and told none them that he carried the virus that causes AIDS and insisted that it was important to prosecute him because many people do not know that is a crime to knowingly transmit HIV to other sexual partners.
“The victims of this type of crime are underrepresented and don’t always know their options,” She said. “If you report it, we can prosecute it.”
Nhekairo was arrested in July 2012 after one of the women contacted authorities.
He initially pleaded not guilty to the charge, but changed his plea to guilty in the four cases after testimony began.
The alleged victim filed a criminal complaint with the Midland Police Department against Nhekairo in October 2011 and told investigators that she had contracted HIV from Nhekairo.
According to Nhekairo's arrest warrant the victim said the pair had been sexually involved between June and September 2008, adding Nhekairo had knowledge he was infected but did not inform her or take safety precautions.
When Nhekairo was interviewed by detectives on June 30, he said the alleged victim's "claim that she had gotten the virus from him was probably true," detectives wrote in the warrant's narrative.
He allegedly admitted to being infected at the time of the relationship and said he made no effort to inform the woman, adding that they had "unprotected sex a couple of times" over the course of the relationship.