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Former Phoenix mayor's aide charged with sex crimes

Caleb Laieski poses with President Barack Obama. (Facebook Photo)

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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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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