David Lee Mangum, a Missouri man police say may have knowingly exposed more than 300 sexual partners to HIV, said he didn’t tell the men he slept with about the illness because he was scared of being rejected.
Mangum, 37, of Dexter, Mo., was arrested last week on suspicion of knowingly infecting with HIV, a felony, after a man claiming to be his former partner filed a complaint with police, The Daily Statesman reported.
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The partner, identified in the complaint as D.B., reportedly met Mangum on Craigslist via a "men for men" ad in October 2012. D.B., 28, claims he asked Mangum about any possible STDs before the two engaged in an unprotected sexual relationship and was assured that there was no issue.
The two lived together briefly from November 2012 to June 2013, when D.B. ended the relationship after finding out Mangum was sleeping with other men. D.B. was diagnosed with HIV a month later, around the same time he received a phone call from Mangum's former roommate saying that Mangum had tested positive for HIV in Texas in 2003.
Mangum admitted to police that he'd been diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and estimated he'd had around 300 sexual partners since then, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"I inquired why Mangum did not disclose he was HIV positive to his sexual partners and he replied, 'Fear of rejection,'" Dexter Police Det. Cory Mills wrote in a probable-cause statement.
Mangum is currently being held on a $250,000 cash bond. Knowingly exposing someone to HIV carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, while knowingly infecting someone with the virus can bring a life sentence.
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