A man accused of knowingly spreading HIV to multiple sexual partners made his first court appearance this week, after an in-depth investigation that lasted more than a year. Isiah Benford, of Indiana, faces 16 counts for allegedly deliberately infecting at least 11 partners with HIV, according to reports.
Benford, however, is maintaining his own innocence.
“They lied, just like the detectives did,” Benford said in response to questions outside of the Indiana courthouse—referring to his alleged victims, and the lengthy investigation.
However despite this, police say that at least three of his alleged victims are willing to testify in court.
Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt said that this has been one of the most complex and unprecedented cases that he’s seen.
“I haven’t seen anything quite like this,” said Modesitt. “If you know that you’re infected with the disease, you are to inform anyone else that you might have interaction or encounter with.”
Due to the lack of precedent in this case, Modesitt said it took a long time to work out which charges to file.
Bendord has entered a not guilty plea to the 16 new charges, and is currently incarcerated at the Vigo County Jail on unrelated charges—and has been for over a year, according to reports.
His trial is set to begin in December.