News (USA)

Jurors recommend 30-year prison term for man convicted of infecting another with HIV

Michael L. Johnson
Michael L. Johnson

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During Friday’s sentencing phase of the trial, St. Charles police Detective Don Stepp testified that after media accounts of Johnson’s 2013 arrest, he was contacted by about a dozen other men who said they had sex with Johnson. But Stepp said they did not want to file a formal complaint, with some saying they hadn’t told their families they were gay.

Stepp said one of 32 videos on Johnson’s computer depicting sex with unknown partners showed Johnson engaged in unprotected sex the same day he got his HIV test at Lindenwood’s health clinic.

“The six men you heard testify were only the tip of the iceberg,” said Phil Groenweghe, an assistant prosecutor.

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Testifying on behalf of Johnson, Meredith Mills said he was her stepson’s friend in high school and that Johnson was especially helpful with her autistic daughter. Mills described Johnson as someone who always focused on the positives of life and never said or did anything mean.

Jurors on Thursday acquitted Johnson of a sixth charge – exposing another man to HIV – after that man testified he had unprotected sex with Johnson in the fall of 2012 but wasn’t diagnosed with HIV until September 2013.

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