A 54-year-old Swiss man has been arrested for refusing to go to court after being charged with infecting 16 people with HIV by injecting them with contaminated accupuncture needles.
The man, who has not been named in accordance with Swiss law, is a music teacher and a “healer.” He told his patients, many of whom were also his music students, that he could heal them with acupuncture, but then injected them with the HIV-positive blood.
Police raided the man’s flat in Bern on Friday after he barricaded himself inside. The reason for the bust was that the man had not shown up for his own trial the day before, according to The Daily Mail.
After arriving on the scene, police were able to pepper spray the man before he made it inside his home and the standoff began. At some point during the incident, the man threatened officers with two samurai swords. A woman was also arrested by police. The man has said the reason he didn’t appear in court was “acute mental and physical exhaustion.”
Swiss officials became aware of what the man was doing after an HIV-positive patient revealed that he had traced his infection back to acupuncture treatments carried out by the accused. Two more patients were also able to be linked to the man. After an investigation, detectives charged the man with infecting 16 people with HIV-infected blood between 2001 and 2005.
“I know he gave me the virus because there is no other way I could have contracted it - not sex, drugs or a blood transfusion,” one of the victims reportedly said in court.
The man faces life imprisonment if found guilty. He has denied the charges.