Gay Wrestler Sentenced to 30 Years for Recklessly Infecting Man With HIV Slated to Get New Trial

Michael Johnson

Gay Wrestler Sentenced to 30 Years for Recklessly Infecting Man With HIV Slated to Get New Trial

Prosecutors asked potential jurors if being homosexual was a choice and evidence included images of Tiger Mandingo's penis.

Published December 21, 2016

A gay wrestler, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for recklessly infecting a sexual partner with HIV, has been given a new day in court.

BuzzFeed reported that an appeals court mandated Tuesday that Michael Johnson, who wrestles under the name Tiger Mandingo, will get a new trial, determining that prosecutors intentionally withheld evidence from Johnson's lawyers to "gain a strategic advantage."

According to the website, the Eastern District Court of Appeals of Missouri found that Johnson's trial was "fundamentally unfair” for withholding Johnson's prison conversation recordings until the last minute.

Subsequently, the court decided to “reverse the judgment of the trial court” and start a new trial.

Johnson is currently serving a 30-and-a-half-year sentence for infecting a male sexual partner with HIV without first disclosing that he carried the virus. Johnson was also accused of trying to infect other partners as well.

During the trial, Johnson claimed that he had told his partners about his HIV, but his partners — most of whom are white — said he didn't.

Johnson's trial was also held in St. Charles, Missouri, a mostly white town. 

BuzzFeed also reports that prosecutors asked potential jurors if being gay is a "choice" and that evidence presented included images of Johnson's "huge" penis.

Johnson was a star at Lindenwood University before being arrested in 2013.

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Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Michael Johnson via Instagram)

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