Former Lindenwood University wrestler Michael L. Johnson was found guilty Thursday of knowingly infecting sex partners with the virus that causes AIDS. One of Johnson's partners tested positive for HIV.
"I was scared and confused," Johnson testified. "I didn't have any knowledge of HIV. I knew it was an STD, that's all."
But Johnson signed a document in 2013 acknowledging he was HIV positive and agreeing to inform future sex partners of his HIV status.
A St. Charles County, Mo. jury deliberated for 2.5 hours before returning a guilty verdict against Johnson, 23. He faces life in prison.
From NY Daily News:
Assistant Prosecutor Phil Groenweghe told jurors in closing arguments that Johnson continued to have sex with multiple men in his Lindenwood University dorm room, even after testing HIV positive in December 2011.
"What we have here is a perfect storm of malice," Groenweghe told jurors.
Johnson told two of his sex partners that he was disease-free when asked, according to Groenweghe.
"He lied," Groenweghe said.
Johnson was also diagnosed with other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.
But the prosecution showed evidence that Johnson tested positive for HIV two years earlier in Indiana, the Post-Dispatch reported.
"It was new to me, and I didn't know how to tell people," Johnson said in a taped interview that was played in court.
Pro gay news and technology website Buzzfeed.com referred to Johnson as an "HIV scapegoat" because white men in the same situation are rarely charged.
More from Sandrarose.com: