An Australian gay man has been found guilty of deliberately attempting to spread HIV at ‘conversion’ sex parties.
Following a six week trial, Michael John Neal from Melbourne was found guilty on 15 charges including eight counts of attempting to infect another person with HIV and two of rape.
The 49 year old, who allegedly bragged about infecting 75 people, was however cleared of 11 charges of actually infecting two men with the virus.
According to the Herald Sun, Neal was diagnosed as HIV positive in 2000. It was claimed by a number witnesses that they had unprotected sex with Neal who failed to tell them that he was infected.
Prosecutors told the court that Neal met his victims at public toilets, at hotels and through gay websites. He was also accused of attempting to ‘convert’ other men at sex parties that he organised.
The defence claimed that Neal thought that he could not infect others with HIV because of his low viral load.
He has been remanded in custody pending a sentencing hearing.