23-year-old Michael “Tiger Mandingo” Johnson had six social media accounts he used to meet partners. Yesterday, a Missouri jury found him guilty of, among other things, recklessly infecting at least one of them with HIV. From the 32 recently discovered video tapes of his encounters, there could be many more.
Johnson was a state champion wrestler in high school and went on to join the team at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO. acccording to ABCnews. Meanwhile KMOV reported Johnson learned of his HIV-positive status on January 7, 2013 and that the unnamed victim in the case had sex with Johnson in his dorm room, where he says he became infected.
The victim went to the police and following a five-month investigation, Johnson was arrested on October 10, 2013, as told by the Indy Star, on charges of one count of recklessly infecting another with HIV, a Class A felony, and four counts of recklessly exposing someone to the risk of infection, a Class B felony for a total of five. Yesterday, he was convicted on all but one count and in his sentencing hearing today, LGBTQnation reports jurors recommend a 30-year prison term.
Update: Fusion.net expanded on Johnson’s sentencing with details provided by Leslie Knight, the St. Charles County Prosecutor’s Office Spokesperson. In addition to the 30 year term for count one, Johnson also faces 30.5 additional years for the convictions on the other counts for a final total of 60.5 years. His legal team is requesting he that he can serve his sentences concurrently which would reduce the total to 30.5 years. A mid-July decision is expected according to Knight.
In a truly salacious twist on a sadly salacious story, BuzzFeed reveals that police state there could be at least 30 victims after discovering “two dozen sex tapes allegedly filmed in secret,” recorded in his dorm room and found on his laptop. St. Charles police Detective Don Stepp testified at least a dozen men have come forward since the story broke but for various reasons, usually being closeted, embarrassed or both, they did not file a formal complaint. One man in particular did not want to upset his wife – though is she ever in for a doozy of a conversation.
As to where he met what proved to be his victims, the Riverfront Times first broke that he used his six social media accounts: not one, but two facebook profiles, plus one ‘Tiger Mandingo Facebook Fan Page’ with almost 1,000 likes, a Twitter, Instagram and a now shut-down Vine.
This case follows on two decades of similar cases that turn irresponsible, careless individuals into HIV criminals, and it’s always a little dicey trying to decide whether a person is simply having reckless sex and thereby endangering partners willing to join him, or whether he’s consciously intending to infect others. As Catherine Hanssens, executive director of The Center for HIV Law and Policy in New York told KMOV, this is just another case of “HIV criminalization,” and “treating Johnson’s past sex partners… as victims puts the government seal of approval on their avoidance of responsibility for personal decisions about their sex lives.” She adds, “Having unprotected sex is poor judgment, not a criminal act.”
Such cases of course get even dicier when the victim is underage, as was the case with former porn star Mike Dozer, who’s been in prison since December 2013 and tried in both federal and state courts on charges of statutory rape, possession of child porn, and reckless endangerment of a minor — the latter charge because he is HIV-positive and possibly infected his 14-year-old sex partner. Dozer, a.k.a. Christopher Steele, was convicted on three felony counts and is currently facing 30 years to life, though his sentencing has been delayed after he fired his lawyer, as Str8UpGayPorn reported.
Anyway, here’s some of the “eye candy” Johnson used as bait on Facebook
While some of his tweets revealed what a charmer he is
My mother & father lol but with hard work from me I got my body to look so dark Chocolate
— Tiger Mandingo (@Mandingo197) July 14, 2013
i got some good bussy….the kind that'll have u standin outside my house wantin sum more :D
— Tiger Mandingo (@Mandingo197) September 2, 2013
But Johnson seemed to favor Instragram most of all