MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Mid-South dance teacher once featured on a reality TV show was sentenced to nine months in prison Friday after pleading guilty to exposing a teenage dancer to the AIDS virus.
According to District Attorney General Amy Weirich’s office, 30-year-old John Conner III must serve four years of sex offender probation once he is released from prison, and he must register as a sex offender for life.
Police said Conner met a 16-year-old boy online in 2015 and the two had unprotected sex several times in Conner’s vehicle, but the dance coach did not tell the teen about his 2012 HIV diagnosis.
Investigators say the teen later joined Conner’s dance team, the Infamous Dancerettes, and the relationship continued as the two exchanged text messages about their sexual activity and shared nude photos. But in August 2016, the teen told his parents about the relationship and said he should be tested after hearing about Conner’s diagnosis. The teen then tested positive for HIV.
Conner pleaded guilty in November 2019 to felony criminal exposure to HIV, statutory rape by an authority figure and solicitation of a minor.
He has two similar cases pending involving 17- and 24-year-old sexual partners.
Conner once appeared on the Lifetime reality TV show “Bring It.” Set in Jackson, Mississippi, the show featured Mid-South competitive dance teams, including Conner’s team in Memphis.