On September 21, 2017, Michael Johnson bypassed a new trial and entered a no-contest plea in the St. Charles County Circuit Court in Missouri. In exchange, he has accepted a sentence of 10 years in state prison. Because Missouri’s HIV criminal law hinges liability on whether or not the defendant can prove he disclosed his HIV status prior to sex—a virtual impossibility in most instances—Johnson decided to accept a plea deal that credits him with time served since his arrest nearly four years ago. Under Missouri’s law, one of the harshest in the country, Johnson could have faced nearly 100 years in prison if found guilty. He previously had been sentenced to 30 years in prison before the appeals court threw out the original conviction. For more information, see the links below for the case fact sheet and CHLP's joint news release.
CHLP fights stigma and discrimination at the intersection of HIV, race, health status, disability, class, sexuality and gender identity and expression, with a focus on criminal and public health systems. As part of this work, we support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change rooted in racial, gender and economic justice. We do this through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources.