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Lindenwood wrestler accused of infecting fellow student with HIV

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) - A Lindenwood University wrestler could face ten to 30 years in prison if he is convicted of charges he recklessly infected another student with the HIV virus.

"I am just really surprised that someone would do that and not even think about anyone else," Lindenwood Junior Jacob Brown said.

22-year old Michael L. Johnson was charged with the Class A felony Thursday after a five month investigation by the St. Charles City Police Department and the St. Charles County Prosecutor.

"Clearly we have a very grave concern that there may be other victims out there," Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar said. Lohmar and the police department are urging any men or women who had sexual contact with Johnson to contact the St. Charles City police.

Members of the Lindenwood University wrestling team were told Thursday about their teammate.

University officials said Thursday was the first day of practice for the season.

Johnson was a "redshirt" freshman last season, so he only wrestled against his teammates.

Police detective Todd Wilson said the County Health Department indicates it is extremely rare for anyone to contract HIV through a wrestling match, but nevertheless the team members are being urged to talk to their family doctors about whether to get tested.

The male student victim contacted police in May after having two sexual encounters with Johnson in a university dormitory.  "The information we got was that they made friends on a social media web site and the victim was not a wrestler," Detective Wilson said.

Students were in "shock" after learning the news.

"My friends said that men in suits came and took a student away," Micah Lose said. "I did not know that was why, but that is pretty scary."

Authorities had to subpoena medical records to track the suspect`s illness and to match it up with the victim`s situation.  However they were unable to inform the suspect`s teammates prior to the public criminal charges because of federal privacy laws.  "It`s unfortunate, but that is the law," Lohmar said.

The victim, who now carries the HIV virus, is no longer a Lindenwood University student.  Johnson was in his second year at Lindenwood.  He is being held in custody on a $100,000 cash only bond.

The St. Charles Police Department is also looking for anyone who may have had an intimate relationship with Johnson. They should contact detectives at:  (636) 949-3320.

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