Tennessee Dance Teacher Pleads Guilty to Raping and Exposing Teen to HIV

John Conner III
Shelby County District Attorney’s Office

A dance teacher from Memphis, Tennessee, has pleaded guilty to raping a teen student and exposing the boy to HIV.

John Conner III allegedly found the 16-year-old boy on social media in 2015. According to a police investigation, Conner met the boy on multiple occasions and had unprotected sex with him. Officials also found a series of text messages between the 30-year-old man and the teen, including nude photos, according to WJTV Jackson.

Soon after meeting online, the teen joined Conner’s dance team, the Infamous Dancerettes.

Prosecutors say that Conner never divulged his HIV status to the teen during their sexual encounters. The boy learned of Conner’s infection from another source months after starting the relationship. The boy then informed his parents about the relationship and asked them to have him tested.

Conner was arrested and charged with criminal exposure to HIV, statutory rape by an authority figure, and solicitation of a minor.

The teacher preempted his trial with a guilty plea. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 20.

Conner is accused of similar behavior in two other cases with partners aged 17 and 24.

Asst. Dist. Atty. Abby Wallace of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Unit (SVU) is handling the case. The SVU prosecutes cases of sexual and physical abuse against children as well as the elderly and vulnerable adults.

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