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Jury Seated in Trial of HIV-Positive Woman

July 30, 2002

A jury was seated Monday in the Compton Superior Court trial of a 46-year-old woman who is HIV-positive and accused of engaging in prostitution.

Panchita Hall was charged under a 1988 state law that requires convicted prostitutes who have been informed that they are HIV-positive to be charged with a felony upon their next arrest.

Hall has six convictions for prostitution since a court-ordered test in 1995 found she had HIV, records show.

Opening statements begin today. A felony conviction carries a three-year sentence, but a prosecutor plans to ask for an enhanced sentence of as much as nine years. Hall's trial is expected to last three days.

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