( 4UMF NEWS ) College Wrestler Busted For Knowingly Spreading HIV:
A champion college wrestler recklessly infected gay sex partners with HIV for months after he was diagnosed, Missouri authorities said.
Michael Johnson, 23, continued to hook up with multiple men in his Lindenwood University dorm room, even lying to them when asked if he had the virus, prosecutors said on the opening day of his trial.
“He didn’t just fail to disclose” his status, assistant St. Charles County prosecutor Philip Groenweghe told jurors. “When he was specifically asked if he was clean… he lied.”
Johnson, who won the 2012 National Junior College championship before transferring to Lindenwood, infected two men and endangered four others before his October 2013 arrest, according to the felony charges.
The chiseled athlete was a sought-after sex partner, going by the nickname “Tiger Mandingo” on social media and dating sites.
Police confiscated his laptop and found 32 videos of him having unprotected sex, often in his dorm room at the conservative Christian college, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Johnson learned he had HIV, which can cause AIDS, in January 2013 but didn’t curtail his sexual exploits, prosecutors said.
A nurse and a state disease prevention specialist testified on Tuesday the former Indiana high school state wrestling champ insisted in follow-up appointments he wasn’t sexually active, even after he was diagnosed with gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Friends and relatives have described Johnson as barely literate and naive about his actions, and activists claim he’s been unfairly persecuted for suffering from a medical condition.
In an jailhouse interview with BuzzFeed, Johnson contended he was doing everything right before the bust.
“My dream for my life is to continue with college, get my bachelor’s degree, and become a role model for people that are struggling to be gay, just as I was struggling,” he told BuzzFeed.
Johnson faces a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted of the top charge and between 5 and 15 years on four other charges.
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