An Arkansas man admitted in court that he purposefully contracted HIV so that he could pass the virus along to others.
Stephen Koch, 25, pleaded guilty to attempting to expose a person with HIV on Monday, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
The Scranton, Arkansas, resident was also charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, delivery of meth and eight counts of distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexually explicit conduct involving a child.
Koch was detained for the drug-related charges but then a confidential informant shared that the man was looking at child pornography, causing more charges to be added.
Searches through Koch’s text messages and other devices indicated to officials that the man had intentionally infected himself with HIV, said chief deputy prosecutor Stuart Cearley.
According to Cearley, Koch planned to go on a double date and was set to lie to others about his status.
‘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?’ Circuit Judge Robin Green asked.
Koch affirmed the statement and claimed that he was on a self-destructive path with his actions.
When Green informed Koch that he would be hurting other people and asked if that was his intention, Koch was said to have responded ‘yes.’
He was sentenced to 50 years in prison and must abide by a suspended sentence agreement for 10 years after he is released.
Koch will also have to register as a sex offender and has to complete the prison’s sex offender treatment program.
Judge Green also ordered the man not to have any unsupervised contact with children.
On Facebook, Koch is listed as having graduated from the University Arkansas in 2015.