Streams

Michael Johnson was Sexually Reckless, But Is He a Criminal?

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Buzzfeed contributor Steven Thrasher tells the story of how a college wrestler in Missouri named Michael Johnson—whose online name was Tiger Mandingo—was charged for “recklessly infect[ing] another with HIV,” a felony. Thrasher’s article “How College Wrestling Star "Tiger Mandingo" Became An HIV Scapegoat” appeared on Buzzfeed in July 7. 

Guests:

Steven Thrasher

Comments [8]

Ed from Larchmont

No one is saying they've done something bad and so shouldn't have sex, it's that the person has a deadly communicable illness.

Aug. 06 2014 02:46 PM
Ed from Larchmont

I guess sex no longer means one loves the other person, i.e. cares and works for their welfare.

Aug. 06 2014 02:45 PM
lisa from Florida

In 2006 there was a case in my town. A girl I had gone to high school with had become HIV positive and she was angry about it. She purposly had unprotected sex with over 200 men trying to spread the virus. One of those "some man did this to me. I'll get them" kind of thing. She was arrested for a felony.

Aug. 06 2014 01:33 PM
Amy from Manhattan

18 months w/out trial is more than outrageous--it's unconstitutional! What happened to the right to a speedy trial? And withholding his HIV meds is worse! Sounds like the Missouri justice system is trying to do to Mr. Johnson what they're accusing him of doing.

Aug. 06 2014 01:33 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Condoms aren't 100% effective either ...

Aug. 06 2014 01:26 PM
Ed from Larchmont

I understand the Ebola does the same thing that AIDS does, but instead of taking 10-15 years to develop, it takes a few days.

Yes, it is the person with AIDS' responsibility ... no? Perhaps no sex?

Aug. 06 2014 01:24 PM
sanych

Illiterate college student?!

Aug. 06 2014 01:20 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

This is a tough one, but depends mostly on intent. If he knew he was HIV+, then certainly having unprotected sex with anyone was deliberate and intentional. If he was a college student, then he certainly should have known to use protection ALL THE TIME - in which case he, himself, might not have become infected and the whole issue would be moot. If he was in that window between being infected and being able to be tested, then he could not have known, but surely should have used protection, but obviously was not in the habit of doing so or he probably wouldn't have gotten infected. There are lots of "if, then" situations here and it is only if we follow all of Mr. Johnson's from the beginning to the end that anyone can determine intent.

However, it is more than obvious that EVERY COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY IN AMERICA AND ELSEWHERE should have orientation for ALL STUDENTS each and every semester in which they stress the use of protection and distribute condoms. No matter what the orientation of the school, college students are chock full of hormones and cannot always be depended upon to keep themselves in check. To paraphrase Poor Richard's Almanac: "An ounce of protection is worth a pound of blame."

Aug. 06 2014 01:00 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.