More Charges May Be Filed in Lindenwood HIV Case
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Since the news broke a week ago that Lindenwood student Michael Johnson, 22, is accused of knowingly spreading HIV to other students by having unprotected sex with them, four other men have stepped forward as possible victims.
St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar says one of the possible victims stopped cooperating and two of the other men’s HIV tests have come back negative. A fourth man is unsure about whether he contracted the disease.
“The sexual encounter took place at the very end of September so for him any testing results may not be particularly valid because the HIV virus is quite possibly at some sort of dormancy state,” Lohmar said of the fourth victim.
Johnson has already been charged with one count of “recklessly risking infection of another when infected with HIV,” a class A felony that is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Lohmar says if there is proof that the four other alleged victims had sex with Johnson, the former Lindenwood wrestler could be charged with knowingly exposing them to HIV, a class B felony.
Lohmar says that even if the men weren’t infected, Johnson could still be charged for exposing them to the virus.
“So there are two varieties of those charges. One of them is exposing an individual to HIV and the other is infecting with HIV,” he explained.
In an email to students and staff last Thursday, university officials urged those who have had contact with Michael Johnson to seek medical advice and reminded students that the Lindenwood University Health Clinic offers free HIV testing.
Johnson was expelled from the school after charges were filed Friday.
Correction: an earlier version of this story stated that knowingly exposing someone to HIV is a class D felony. It is a class B felony.