Former college wrestler facing life in prison for exposing sex partners to HIV

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A 23-year-old former college wrestler, Michael L. Johnson, also known as “Tiger Mandingo” has been accused of exposing over 30 men he met online to HIV.


According to the initial investigation by authorities, Johnson, who attended Lindenwood University, has been having unprotected sex with men for months and filming the encounters. Police discovered a total of 32 videos on Johnson’s laptop and in each clip, he can be seen with a different sexual partner.

The Daily News reports that Missouri’s St. Charles Police Department believes Johnson’s partners were unaware that Johnson is HIV-positive or that they were being filmed. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar released a statement asking Johnson’s partners to come forward, telling Missouri’s media outlet KMOV: “It’s a matter not only of their individual safety but public safety as well.”


On Thursday, Johnson was found guilty on five of six counts after infecting one gay sex partner with HIV while attempting to expose four others to the virus, which could very well land him in the slammer for life. 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. To make matters worse, Groenweghe continued that Johnson told two of his sex partners that he was disease-free when asked. “He lied,” Groenweghe said.

As for Johnson’s defense, he claims that he was “scared and confused.”  “I didn’t have any knowledge of HIV. I knew it was an STD, that’s all.”

Johnson was a state wrestling champion from Indianapolis before capturing the 2012 National Junior College championship at Lincoln College in Illinois. He later transferred to Linwood, an NCAA Division II school.

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