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Former Phoenix mayor’s aide charged with sex crimes

PHOENIX — A former LGBT youth and diversity liaison for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has been charged with 13 counts of sex crimes with a minor.

Caleb Michael Laieski is accused of having sex with a 14-year-old boy last year. He was 17 at the time, but Arizona law said children under the age of 15 can’t legally consent to sex, even with another minor.

The incident came to light this week when former Phoenix Police Officer Chris Wilson was charged with performing sex acts on two underage boys. Laieski was allegedly one of those boys. His attorney claims that both Laieski and the other boy were, in fact, Wilson’s victims.

When Stanton was asked about the case, the mayor’s public information officer, Christian Palmer, intervened.

“I have a statement on that that we can release,” he said.

“They’ll get you a statement, but basically I can’t comment because it’s an ongoing investigation,” Stanton added.

KTAR later received a statement from Stanton’s office.

“It would be inappropriate for our office to comment on what is an ongoing and very serious criminal matter,” the statement read. “The victims in this case deserve justice, and we have full confidence that the legal system will handle it in an appropriate manner.”

Before receiving the statement, Stanton was asked whether this situation hurts his recent LGBT equality initiatives.

“We have a statement,” he replied. “I can’t comment on that. But I will tell you this: As you know, Phoenix is ranked as one of the very best cities in the country in terms of LGBT friendliness. I think it’s great for business, and we’re very proud of that. It’s completely unrelated to the other issue you brought up. But it’s good for jobs, it’s good for business. It sends a message that we value every person in our community. Showing that you support your diverse population is important for the future of your community.”

Laieski gained national attention in 2011 when he appeared in a documentary about bullying and discussed issues involving gay youth with both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

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