A Texas judge sentenced a 42-year-old ex-youth football coach to 15 years in prison after knowingly infecting a woman with HIV, the Dallas Morning News reports.
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Jimmy Bernard Billingsley pleaded guilty to aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury. Billingsley admitted that he’s known since 2008 that he was HIV-positive. But he still had unprotected sex with the mother of a youth football player he dated in 2009. That woman learned she contracted HIV after feeling ill and taking a blood test soon after, according to KVUE-TV.
The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, called local police after getting the test results because she suspected that Billingsley purposefully infected her after insisting that they have unprotected sex. “He would say, ‘You’ll be okay. I won’t get you pregnant. I don’t have anything. You don’t have anything to worry about,'” she said.
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At a hearing last Friday, Billingsley took the stand and admitted that he had sex with several other women since learning he had HIV; he told none of them of his status. The judge handed down a sentence of 15 years after his testimony.
“This defendant’s intentional non-disclosure to numerous sex partners was egregious, dangerous, willful and malicious,” said Assistant District Attorney Joshua Ross in a prepared statement. “He is truly a snake in the grass. His sentence brings some justice to his known victim and provides a measure of protection for so many others.”
As for the woman he infected, she says the grind of going to the doctor and taking medication is taking its toll on her. She hopes the cocktails she takes daily will fend off full-blown AIDS. She warms other to protect themselves.
“Just be careful out there,” she said. “Don’t trust anybody. It’s not a game to play with. You don’t want to be in this situation.”