Caleb Laieski, Prominent LGBT Advocate, Charged with Sex Crimes
President Obama and Caleb Laieski.
A prominent local activist for LGBT and anti-bullying causes has been indicted on more than a dozen charges of sexual conduct with a minor.
Caleb Laieski, 18, has been nationally recognized for his advocacy, after overcoming anti-gay bullying that led him to drop out of high school. He was prominently featured in an anti-bullying documentary, earned a gig acting as a youth and diversity advocate for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton's office, and even met with President Obama and Vice President Biden to talk about LGBT youth issues.
Recently, however, Laieski was indicted by a grand jury on the sex-crime charges, in a case in which Laieski's alleged to also be a victim.
Last year, Phoenix Police Detective Chris Wilson, then 43, was arrested in the alleged sexual assaults of a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy.
Laieski is that 17-year-old. Laieski's indictment doesn't provide details about the alleged crimes but accuses him of engaging in various sex acts with the 14-year-old.
According to court records filed by Laieski's attorney, the teenager is now working as a 911 dispatcher for the Arlington (Virginia) Police Department. On his Facebook page, Laieski proudly tells his friends that he got a score of 96 on the police academy exam.
Wilson, who resigned from the police department because of his impending arrest in the case, met the boys while he served on the PPD's Community Response Squad as a liaison officer to the LGBT community.
Wilson was politically connected, and as explained in a December 2012 New Times story by Monica Alonzo, Wilson's supervisor, Phoenix police Sergeant Mark Schweikert, alleged that Phoenix Councilman Tom Simplot and Assistant Police Chief Tracy Montgomery -- who are both openly gay -- were "influencing" how he supervised Wilson.
However, Schweikert claimed that Wilson's behavior had changed in the weeks leading up to his arrest, and did note that he gave one of the alleged sexual-abuse victims a ride to the dentist.
"I did not think what Mr. Wilson was doing [was] appropriate, but it was not a violation of policy," he wrote. "I did not question what Mr. Wilson did with his personal time."
The 14-year-old boy, who's also emerged as a prominent young activist against anti-gay bullying, had told his parents about his alleged relationships with Laieski and Wilson, and his parents relayed that information to police.
Laieski has said that he was "16 years old, or at most, 17 years old" when the alleged sexual encounters occurred, according to court filings.
Court records show Laieski was released from custody without having to post any bond, and the judge allowed him to keep living in Virginia. His next court date is scheduled for next week.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.