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NZ man fined for taking off condom during sex
Updated: 2005-07-18 08:36

A New Zealand man charged with putting a prostitute's life at risk by removing a condom during sex has been fined in a groundbreaking case, which was welcomed Friday by civil rights groups and "sex workers."

Daniel Morgan, 48, was fined NZ$400 (US$269) and ordered to pay costs in the Christchurch District Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to the charge, the first of its kind under a new unsafe sex law, which is part of the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act.

The maximum fine under the act is NZ$2,000.

“As a test case, it was a minimum fine but it shows that the Act is working,” Calum Bennachie of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective said.

“The social penalty is a lot larger. He is a married man, his name was given in open court as having gone along to a sex worker, so there’s a lot of stigmatization that goes along with that as well,” he said.

Outside the court, the prostitute told reporters that she would have to wait for another six weeks before tests could determine whether she had contracted the HIV/AIDS virus.

“It feels like a death sentence. I still don’t know whether it will be or not,” the unidentified prostitute said.

Morgan told the court he had removed the condom without the prostitute’s knowledge because he knew that she would not have consented to having sex without one.

“Quite often the stigmatization will prevent other people from doing the same thing,” Bennachie said.

The case was widely reported by New Zealand media and details of it were confirmed by police and government officials Friday.

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