On Monday, 25-year-old Stephen Koch pleaded guilty to intentionally getting contracted with the HIV virus and attempting to expose another person to it. Stephen admitted his intention was to inflict harm on others.
The Scranton, Arkansas resident also pleaded guilty to possession of drugs paraphernalia, methamphetamine with purpose to deliver. He was also charged with eight counts of possessing and distributing sexually explicit pornography involving a minor.
Stephen Koch was initially only detained for charges related to drugs. However, a confidential informant provided information about Koth looking at child pornography, which led to additions to his charge sheet.
Further investigation and searches of Koch’s interactions on his phone and other devices proved to the police officials that the man had intentionally infected himself with HIV. This was confirmed in a statement by Stuart Cearley, the chief deputy prosecutor. Cearley continued to say that Koch had planned to go on a double date soon, with the intention to conceal his STD and to inflict it on others.
During the trial, Circuit Judge Robin Green asked Koch, “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 reply to the judge, Koch said he had been ‘on a self-destructive path with [his] actions’. He admitted to having the intention to inflict harm with HIV, leading to the judge sentencing him to fifty years in prison and ordering him to abide by a ‘suspended sentence agreement for 10 years’ after his release.
Stephen Koch was also ordered to register himself as a sex offender and to get treatment for it while in prison. He was also restricted from interacting with children except under supervision.
Stephen Koch graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2015 and is a computer engineer.
This is not the first case of men inflicting themselves with HIV in order to pass it on to others. A few months ago, a similar case was seen in Great Britain; a man named Daryll Rowe was arrested and sentenced to life in prison for intentionally infecting five other men with HIV. Rowe had admitted that if his sexual partners refused to have unprotected sex with him, he would tear the condom to make sure he succeeded in his purpose.