Michael Johnson was sentenced to 30 years for “recklessly” infecting a sexual partner with HIV. Now, an appeals court has ordered a new trial because prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence from Johnson’s attorneys “to gain a strategic advantage.” Update: This post has been expanded to include more information from the court’s ruling as well as context about Johnson’s case and the nation’s HIV laws.
Officially, former college wrestler Michael Johnson was on trial for not telling his sexual partners that he had HIV. But inside the courtroom, the man known as Tiger Mandingo was also up against America’s attitudes on race and sexuality.
In the sentencing hearing, new evidence from more than 30 sex videos was presented. A friend of Johnson’s testified that he was “a gentle giant.”
A jury found the former college wrestler guilty of recklessly infecting a partner with HIV, attempting to recklessly infect a partner with HIV, and three counts of recklessly exposing partners to HIV.
Former college wrestler Michael Johnson says he has been locked up alone for up to 23 hours a day for the last three months. He has become the face of laws that criminalize HIV-positive people for having sex without telling their partners they are infected, even if they practice safe sex. His trial began today.
BuzzFeed LGBT editor Saeed Jones joins journalists Steven Thrasher and Dave Tuller to discuss sex, gay men, and what we are (and aren’t) doing. “Marriage and wedding registries are much easier to talk about than fucking.”
“Everyone wanted a piece of him, until he had HIV.”
“Michael Sam scoring a touchdown, see Michael Sam tearing through an offensive line…. That will help take Missouri into the 21st century,” says out state lawmaker Mike Colona.
After 28 years, Gray’s Papaya has closed and Greenwich Village will never be the same. If you’ve been a New Yorker at any point in the past few decades, here are some things you’ll miss.
My body started falling apart, then I lost my job. A red-faced rhesus macaque and a bout of dysentery helped me find my path.
My dad toiled away on anti-apartheid campaigns throughout the ’80s in California. In 1990, we got to see Nelson Mandela come to town.
Dante de Blasio’s bountiful fro has been a rare flash point in an otherwise drama-free New York City mayoral campaign, bringing the hairstyle’s cultural trajectory from revolutionary to mundane and now back again.
Even as public perception shifts and marriage equality gains headway, LGBT parents, who are raising an estimated 6 million children in the U.S., face discriminatory parental and adoption rights. Many trans parents especially have to choose between retaining custody of their children and coming out.
Christine Quinn’s real problem was that she backed down. Tish James emerges.
Rustin played a key role in advancing civil rights and economic justice. His partner, Walter Naegle, talks with BuzzFeed about that legacy on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the march Rustin made a reality.