Tempe Criminal-Defense Attorney in Jail on Child-Molestation Charges

John Vigileos, a Tempe-based criminal-defense attorney, is being held without bond at the Maricopa County Jail after confessing to Gilbert police that he sexually molested his 12-year-old step-daughter at his home.

The 45-year-old lawyer was arrested in the early-morning hours of April 23 after a series of previously unpublicized events that have stunned his colleagues in the legal profession.

Court records in State of Arizona v. John Keith Vigileos include a one-page "probable cause" statement that summarizes the case against the Gilbert man.

Vigileos and his estranged wife have shared custody of the 12-year-old victim, as well as the woman's 9-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter (the youngest child is the sole product of their union).

The three kids were at Vigileos' residence when the 12-year-old called her mother about 2 a.m. on April 23 to report that Vigileos touched her and forced him to touch her inappropriately.

The girl's mother drove to Vigileos' home to get the children, who were there alone as Vigileos had split for parts unknown.

Back at her Gilbert apartment, she soon got a phone call from her ex before she reported the situation to the police. The state's probable-cause statement says Vigileos admitted to molesting the girl.
Vigileos called Gilbert police to self-surrender but then "attempted to commit suicide by cutting his left wrist and stabbing himself in the stomach with a knife."

Apparently not seriously injured in the suicide attempt, Vigileos later twice confessed to the cops after failing to invoke his Miranda right to self-incrimination (and a criminal-defense lawyer, no less!).

"During the [police] interview, John used a white board to explain the relationship he has with [his step-daughter]," the court document says. "On one side of the board, he described a fatherly relationship. On the other, he identified a romantic or sexual relationship. 

Vigileos is looking at a prison term that is very likely to put him into Social Security territory, into his 60s or beyond. 

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin