Michael L. Johnson, All-American champion college wrestler, had his fate for the next several decades confirmed in court Monday, the judge handing down a 30-year sentence to the former college wrestler for engaging in sexual acts with multiple partners while knowing he was infected with the AIDS-causing HIV virus, reports UPI.
“He will infect people for his own sick purposes,” said one of those sexual partners during Johnson’s trial. “He has lost the privilege to be free.”
It was back in May that a jury concluded that the former champion wrestler out of Lindenwood University, Michael L. Johnson, was guilty of the five counts he faced for knowingly exposing his sexual partners to HIV, the Monday sentencing pinning the wrestler with 30 years marking the conclusion of the trial.
Champion wrestler Johnson, 23, was accused and convicted of leaving one of his male sexual partners infected with HIV, while four other people who also had sexual encounters with Johnson were also exposed to his HIV virus.
Once a champion wrestler but now a convict, Johnson received the 30-year sentence from St. Charles County Circuit Judge Jon Cunningham for “recklessly infecting another with HIV” and four separate counts of “reckless exposure” to the wrestler’s other sexual partners.
The combined sentences could’ve left Johnson wrestling with more prison time, but Judge Cunningham chose to run the former college wrestler’s sentences concurrently.
Daunting testimony from infectious disease and HIV experts, along with statements from three male sexual partners of Johnson who testified that they’d had unprotected sex with the former champion college wrestler after he lied to them about having HIV, sealed Johnson’s fate.
The attorney for the former champion college wrestler, Heather Donovan, pleaded with the judge to give Michael Johnson a lesser 10-year prison sentence, her point being that HIV “is not a death sentence anymore,” reports the Daily Mail.
Lawyer Donovan also pleaded on her former champion wrestler’s behalf that treatment for HIV and AIDS had come a long way since the type of laws that Michael Johnson was being subjected to had been incorporated, but Judge Cunningham emphasized that Johnson’s crimes were “very severe.”
Michael Johnson’s glory days as a wrestling champion carried him from his home state of Indiana in 2010 through being a junior college All-American champ and then a national champ in Illinois at Lincoln College.
Johnson then took his gifts as a wrestler to Lindenwood University, but his having several sexual encounters with male partners, while knowingly having HIV, led to his expulsion from the University in 2013 when his alleged crimes came to light.
[Image via Medical Daily]