What led to Stephen Koch an Arkansas man willfully contracting HIV with the intent of purposefully passing on the potentially lethal virus?
Appearing in court on Monday, Stephen Koch, 25, of Scranton, pleaded guilty to attempting to expose another person to HIV, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported. He also pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and eight counts of child pornography.
Upon his initial arrest, Arkansas police booked Koch on drug charges, but a confidential informant then told authorities that he was viewing child porn.
During a search of his computer, prosecutors discovered Koch had recently contracted HIV and was actively plotting to infect others with the virus.
Not immediately known is how Koch came to ‘willfully’ contract the potentially lethal virus. Also not clear is why the man sought to expose himself to the virus and from there harm others.
Stephen Koch Arkansas man concedes his actions were self destructive:
Prosecutors told Circuit Judge Robin Green that Koch had plans to go on a double date, where he would lie about his HIV status.
Retorted Justice Green, ‘Just so I can get my brain around this, did I understand the state correctly; Mr. Koch intentionally contracted the HIV virus so he could then infect others?’
In court, Koch admitted to his crimes and said his actions were ‘self-destructive’.
When the judge asked if he intended to hurt other people, Koch responded, ‘Yes.’
Koch was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He will also have to register as a sex offender. The judge also ordered Koch not to have any unsupervised contact with any minors.
A regard of Koch’s Facebook page listed him as graduating from the University Arkansas in 2015.
Koch’s sentencing follows that of a similar case in the UK where Daryll Rowe was found guilty of intentionally infecting five men with HIV, The Washington Post reported.
During testimony, Rowe said he insisted on having unprotected sex with men he met through the Grindr app. If the men refused to have unprotected sex, he would tear the end of the condom. Rowe was sentenced to life in prison.
A similar case in the US, less than three weeks ago also saw a Gulfport, Mississippi man charged with knowingly exposing others to HIV. During testimony, police said Tyrone Ross, 29, had previously been convicted for knowingly exposing others to HIV twice.