DEXTER, MO (KTVI) – A Southeast Missouri man could have infected hundreds of people with HIV, the virus that causes the AIDS disease. 36 year old David Lee Mangum of Dexter, MO told police he has been HIV positive for ten years and during that time had sex with some three hundred people.
His recent partner broke off their relationship and contacted Dexter police after testing positive for HIV. A probable cause statement filed in the Stoddard County Court quotes the partner who said he met Mangum through a listing on the Craig’s List web site. The document also quotes Mangum as saying he never informed his partners about his illness for “fear of rejection.”
Thursday, Mangum waived his arraignment hearing and pled not guilty to a charge of “recklessly infecting another with HIV” when he knew he had tested HIV positive. The crime is a Class A felony and if convicted, Mangum could serve between ten years to life in prison. He is currently being held in the Stoddard Co. jail on a $250,000 cash only bond.
Stoddard County Prosecutor Russ Oliver alerted area residents to the dangers if anyone had shared sexual relations with Mangum or any of his partners. “I have never known of a case of this nature even in this area. I don’t know of a case certainly not of this magnitude.”
Residents of Dexter said they were shocked by the news. Some feared for friends or relatives who shared sex with Mangum or others in his circle.
According to court documents Mangum said he had sex with as many as sixty people from Stoddard County.
Oliver said county health departments in Stoddard and four nearby counties have seen an increase in requests for HIV testing. He urged anyone who thought they might have shared sex with othe suspect to “cease sexual activity until they have been tested for HIV and received the results.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 26 in the Stoddard County Court in Bloomfield, MO. Oliver will present evidence to show the case should be held for trial.
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