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'Healer' infects 16 people with HIV in Switzerland

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   March 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM   |   Comments

March 15 (UPI) -- A music teacher and unlicensed acupuncturist in Switzerland was charged on allegations of intentionally infecting 16 people with HIV between 2001 and 2005.

A five-judge panel at Bern-Mitelland regional court indicted Maurice Goeller, 53, who does not himself have HIV, on charges of spreading human disease and causing serious bodily harm.

The regional prosecutor's office said in a statement that most of Goeller's victims were recruited from among his music school students.

Prosecutors say he practiced as an acupuncturist without a license, allegedly using the job as a pretext to prick his clients with needles infected with the AIDS-causing virus.

Officials began investigating Goeller after a complaint in 2005 from student Thomas Kaiser, who was diagnosed as HIV positive and told medics he could only have been infected from Goeller's injections.

Investigators ultimately uncovered 15 others with similar stories.

Goeller denies all wrongdoing, or even performing acupuncture.

A second suspect was initially identified, but then dismissed, when no evidence confirming his involvement could be found.

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