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Michael "Tiger Mandingo" Johnson's conviction for HIV transmission has been thrown out

23 December 2016

In a story December 20 about a Missouri appeals court decision overturning a man's conviction and sentence in an HIV exposure case, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Lawrence Lustberg was Michael Johnson's attorney.

Subsequently, the court chose to "reverse the judgment of the trial court" and start a new trial.

Excoriating prosecutors for deliberately withholding evidence, a court of appeals has ordered a new trial for Michael Johnson, better known by his online name Tiger Mandingo, who was convicted past year for "recklessly" infecting a person with HIV and exposing or attempting to expose four others.

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". When D.K. -L. saw that Johnson continued to use hookup apps without informing potential partners he had HIV, the student contacted the Saint Charles police.

State of Missouri v. Michael L. Johnson, Mo. The prosecution, however, impeached his testimony using three clips of cellphone conversations, recorded while Johnson was jailed.

Johnson, now 25, was expelled from Lindenwood after he was charged in the case, which concerned incidents in 2013. Wear Stepp affirmed amid the punishment period of the trial that more than twelve other men approached after news reports of Johnson's capture, guaranteeing they engaged in sexual relations with him.

Tim Lohmar, a prosecutor for St. Charles County in Missouri, disputed that the charges involved Johnson's sexual preference or race.

"In his first point on appeal, Johnson contends that the trial court erred by admitting the excerpted recordings of phone calls Johnson made while in jail that the State did not disclose to the defense until the morning of the first day of the trial", court documents read.

Johnson said he had disclosed his status to his partners before engaging in sex with them.

Lambda Legal lawyer Scott Schoettes, who assisted Johnson's public defender, said the group was elated by the reversal.

"Living with HIV is not a crime", Schoettes said in a statement.

Johnson's attorney Lawrence Lustberg added that "statutes like the one used to prosecute Mr. Johnson are inherently problematic, as they promote stigma and animus towards people living with HIV in violation of their legal and constitutional rights". Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.