Nationwide — 23-year old Michael L. Johnson has been sentenced to serve three decades in prison for intentionally infecting other men with the HIV virus. He reportedly concealed his HIV-positive status from several men that he had unprotected sex with back in 2013.
What hurt his case the most, however, was during the initial trial, when the defense for Johnson claimed that he did not know he was HIV-positive. The prosecutor, however, presented solid evidence showing otherwise.
Judge Jon Cunningham, who proceeded over the case, told Johnson that he committed “very severe” crimes. “The main thing is the profound effect your actions have had on the victims and their families,” he said.
One victim also spoke out saying, “He will infect people for his own sick purposes. He has lost the privilege to be free.”
Johnson didn’t say too much during the sentencing, but he did offer some sympathy to the victims and commented, “I never want anyone to have to go through the pain” of having HIV.”
“It was new to me, and I didn’t know how to tell people,” Johnson said in a taped interview that was played before the sentencing.
His attorney pleaded for a lesser sentence, arguing that getting HIV is not necessarily a death sentence, but the judge didn’t buy it.
To make matters worse, Johnson has also been diagnosed with other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea.