David Stringer arrested in 1983 for paying teens for sex, records show
PHOENIX – Former Arizona lawmaker David Stringer, who resigned this week amid an ethics investigation, was accused of paying teenage boys for sex acts in 1983, according to documents released to the media Friday by the House Ethics Committee.
According a Baltimore Police Department report obtained by ABC15, Stringer paid boys younger than 15, one of whom had a mental disability, to perform sex acts and allegedly molested the boys more than 10 times.
ABC15 reported that Stringer pleaded to lesser charges and was sentenced to five years of probation and 1,040 hours of community service. The case was ultimately expunged.
Stringer wrote on Facebook on Saturday that he was the subject of “salacious allegations of sexual improprieties that had no basis in fact.”
Gov. Doug Ducey, who called for Stringer’s resignation in June over racially insensitive comments from the lawmaker, tweeted that the charges were “disgusting and deeply disturbing.”
House Speaker Rusty Bowers said he wasn’t involved in the ethics probe but received updates from the committee.
“The behavior described in Mr. Stringer’s arrest report is absolutely appalling and sickening,” he said in a statement Friday. “I confronted Mr. Stringer with the information on Wednesday afternoon and again asked him to resign, which he finally did.”
“I’m hopeful that the House can now move on from this matter, and I look forward to Legislative District 1’s new representative joining the House as soon as possible.”
Bowers also released a joint statement with House Democratic Leader Charlene Fernandez.
“While we disagree on matters of policy every day, each of us regards our colleagues as friends and family,” the statement said.
“The shock and horror we felt when we learned the details in this report are indescribable, not just as elected officials but as parents. This is not about politics, it’s about the safety and security of children.”
Stringer faced a Wednesday deadline to turn over documents subpoenaed by the ethics committee. He initially asked the court to intervene but withdrew the request moments before the hearing was supposed to begin in Maricopa County Superior Court.
Instead, the Prescott Republican submitted his resignation to Bowers.
The ethics probe began in January after the Phoenix New Times published a copy of a case history the newspaper obtained from the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. A Maryland judicial official told the newspaper the case was expunged, and the records should not have been released.
But the House Ethics Committee was able to obtain the records during its probe. The Baltimore police report was part of 426 pages of documents (Warning: graphic content) released by the committee.
Stringer was also being investigated over comments that were widely denounced as racist. Last summer, video circulated on social media of him saying “there aren’t enough white kids to go around” when discussing integration in schools. Despite a backlash, he was re-elected in November.