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Michael Johnson, Lindenwood wrestler, accused of exposing person to HIV

9:44 PM, Oct 10, 2013   |    comments
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KSDK) - The St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney's Office charged a wrestler at Lindenwood University for allegedly exposing a former student to HIV.

According to Det. Sgt. Todd Wilson, a spokesman for the St. Charles Police Department, 22-year-old Michael Johnson was charged with "recklessly risking infection of another when infected with HIV."

In late May 2013, police were contacted by the victim, who stated he believed Johnson infected him with HIV.

The victim told investigators he met Michael Johnson (aka "Tiger")through social media and the two were sexually intimate on at least two occasions, Wilson said.

Johnson has been jailed on $100,000 cash-only bond.

Although Johnson was a member of the Lindenwood University wrestling team, instances of contracting the virus in that manner are extremely rare.  However, authorities recommend anybody who had contact with Johnson consider consulting a physician.

The St. Charles Police Department is asking anybody that may have been in an intimate relationship with Johnson to contact the detective bureau at 636-949-3320. According to the St. Charles County Prosecutor's office, five people have already come forward with concerns of exposure.

A Lindenwood official says Johnson was kicked off the wrestling team and expelled immediately after his arrest.

Thursday was the first day of wrestling practice for the team, and a team meeting was held to get everyone informed. A letter has gone out to faculty, staff, and students informing them of the situation.

The spokesperson says the school follows federal guidelines under HIPAA with regards to having a student athlete with HIV. He would not elaborate.

The following statement was also released by the school:
"Lindenwood is cooperating with authorities in the investigation and doing everything possible to protect and educate our students. We do not know the identity of the victim, however we have asked police to assist us in communicating with that individual. We are asking this victim and anyone else who may have had intimate contact with Michael L Johnson to seek medical advice right away."

The following letter was sent home to Lindenwood students and staff:
"Dear Colleagues:

"The following message is being sent via email to all students from Student Life and Leadership. It contains important information that all employees need to know as well.

"Lindenwood University was notified today that a student-athlete has been charged with knowingly infecting someone with HIV, which is a Class A felony.

"The institution is cooperating with authorities in the investigation and doing everything possible to protect and educate our students.

"We do not know the identity of the victim; however, we have asked police to assist us in communicating with that individual. We are asking this victim and anyone else who may have had intimate contact with Michael L. Johnson to seek medical advice right away.

"Lindenwood's Student Life & Leadership Office is arranging for a speaker and awareness program on AIDS/HIV.

"The Lindenwood University Student Counseling and Resource Center will have counselors available in the Anheuser-Busch Leadership room of the Spellmann Campus Center for counseling tomorrow, October 11, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

"There will also be a counselor available tomorrow in the SCRC from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. for those who may have an urgent need to talk before tomorrow afternoon. The SCRC is located in the Lindenwood University Cultural Center (LUCC), and staff can be reached at (636) 627-2928."

KSDK

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