Missouri man accused of spreading HIV
MISSOURI -- A 22-year-old in Missouri is accused of knowingly trying to spread HIV.
Prosecutors say the former Lindenwood University student engaged in sexual activity with more than 30 people after he discovered he had HIV.
"On that laptop were 32 videos that depicted different individuals engaged in sexual acts with Mr. Johnson," Tom Lohmar, St. Charles County Prosecutor said.
The man -- Michael Johnson -- was seen with 31 unidentified people in videos taken over four months.
Most of the videos were filmed on the St. Charles campus of Lindenwood University in Missouri.
"It's safe to say that numerous of those videos were taken inside his dorm room, we know that because we recognize the furniture," Lohmar said.
Lohmar says most of the victims not only likely had no idea they were being video-taped, they were clueless that Johnson had HIV and he knew it.
That's why Lohmar wants any potential victims to come forward immediately.
"It's a matter not only of their individual safety, but to public safety, as well," Lohmar said.
Lindenwood University officials say they will assist law enforcement with identifying victims. They say they had no idea the videos existed until just a few days ago.
Students shaken up by the latest news, but glad that Johnson is still behind bars for now.
If convicted of knowingly transmitting HIV, he could get up to life in prison.
The situation at Lindenwood University is not an isolated incident. Law enforcement officials from across the country have been busy handling cases just like Johnson.
The small town of Logansport, Lousiana recently saw an arrest of a 40-year-old man named Cartrell Brooks. Brooks is accused of intentially spreading HIV to possibly 13 people in the town. Deputies in the parish report every since word spread of the Jan. 7 arrest, calls have been coming in from across the country from people concerned about being exposed to HIV through Brooks.
And a Georgia man was recently convicted of failing to disclose his HIV status to a sexual partner. Craig Davis was convicted of HIV Reckless Conduct. It took a jury less than one hour to return a guilty verdict.
It is important to note that not all victims exposed to the virus have contracted the virus.
"It's not required that anyone tests positive to exposure to the virus. Just the fact that he exposed them to the virus without their knowledge is a crime, and that's what he's basically being charged with," Lousiana's DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Detective Horace Womack explained in regards to Brooks.
Law enforcement and health officials are urging any person who believes they may have been exposed to the virus by any of these men to come forward.Wednesday, January 22 2014, 01:06 PM CST
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