Former Aiken County teacher found guilty of exposing others to HIV

Joel Bedenbaugh/Special

AIKEN – A former Aiken County art teacher has been sentenced for knowingly exposing his wife to HIV.

An Aiken County jury Wednesday found Joel Lynn Bedenbaugh, 47, of Camden, S.C., guilty of exposing others to HIV, said Assistant Aiken County Solicitor Brenda Brisbin. He was sentenced to six years in prison and four years of probation after a two-day trial.

Mr. Bedenbaugh knowingly exposed his now ex-wife to the sexually transmitted disease during their marriage between 2002 and 2006, Ms. Brisbin said.

Prosecutors discovered his diagnosis while investigating allegations of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in 2008. Mr. Bedenbaugh had been accused of having sexual contact with a girl between 2003 and 2005, starting when the child was six-years-old, Ms. Brisbin said. The charges were dropped since he is serving time for the current offense, and will register as a sex offender, Ms. Brisbin said.

Neither the wife nor the child contracted HIV.

Mr. Bedenbaugh taught art part-time at St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School in Aiken and at Warren Road Elementary, according to Augusta Chronicle archives.

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