Tiger Mandingo, the wrestler convicted for reckless HIV transmission, gets parole after 30-year prison sentence

Tiger Mandingo, the wrestler convicted for reckless HIV transmission, gets parole after 30-year prison sentence

A judge granted Michael Johnson, the former college wrestler known as the Tiger Mandingo, parole from his 30-year (reduced to 10 years) prison sentence. He received the sentence after getting convicted on the charge of ‘recklessly’ transmitting HIV to one male partner and exposing it to at least four others.

However, at the end of 2016, he received an opportunity for a new trial.

According to BuzzFeed News, even though Johnson’s lawyers say he’s been granted parole, he will remain in incarceration at Boonville Correctional Facility until 9 October 2019, six years after his initial arrest.

Johnson was a star college wrestler at Missouri’s Lindenwood University. The police first arrested him in 2013 and his trial was full of race and sex discussion. Evidence presented to the court included images and descriptions of Johnson’s ‘huge’ penis.

He initially received a 30.5 years prison sentence.

In 2016, a Missouri appeals court overturned this conviction due to the timing of evidence. Last year, Johnson agreed to a 10-year, no contest plea deal rather than face another trial.

“We had some hopes, because of all the support Michael had received and a couple of other factors, that he would get out at an earlier date,” one of his lawyers, Eric Selig, said.

His early release depends on him not accruing any violations over the next year and a half.

If released in 2019, Johnson plans to live with his friend Meredith Rowan, who attended his parole hearing, in Indiana.

Many activists and organizations, such as the American Medical Association, criticize laws singling out HIV. Many states in recent years have changed their laws about HIV exposure. Last year, California passed a bill that reduced HIV exposure from a felony to a misdemeanor.

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1 Comment

  1. Black Dynasty
    April 11, 08:43 Reply

    I’m happy he will get out on parole tbh.

    I’m torn as I’m a proponent of declaring your status before sexual activity if you know you are +ve (even when undetectable) and let your partner choose. Intentionally omitting that and having raw sex on top of that with multiple guys, knowing the possibilities is reckless at best and perhaps even malicious but definitely selfish.

    On the flip side, that long sentence was too much and I’m not sure jail time is the best but it is supposed to serve as a deterrent and i agree with it where the intent can be proven to be malicious.

    HIV is no longer a death sentence and can be managed but it is a life altering infection and no one who’s -ve should have that choice of consent taken away from them.

    I say this having witnessed 2 different friends find out their partner was +ve, knew about it, never told them and still went on to have unprotected sex with them at some point for fear of being dumped if the truth came out. One became +ve and other was negative (court trial and jail time for the bf… UK law. The bf eventually developed cancer from HPV and passed away).

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