PHOENIX -- People who worked closely with Phoenix Police officer Christopher J. Wilson say they are shocked by allegations that he had sexual relationships with a 17-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy.
“I don’t think anybody who’s ever worked with Chris would have suspected this,” said Brad Wishon with the One Voice Community Center. “He seemed to be a person of very good character. He was always helpful, always ready to make sure everyone’s rights were respected, that everyone was safe.”
“I am shocked and saddened,” said Patrick Kelley, a former member of the Greater Phoenix Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and current member of the Phoenix Police Department Advisory Board.
Both Wishon and Kelley worked closely with Wilson in his role as a Phoenix Police liaison with the LGBT community.
Police say it was in that role that Wilson met his two victims and brought them back to his house to engage in sexual activity.
“This tragic incident was a disturbing violation of our community’s public trust,” said Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia.
According to police, the relationship with the 17-year-old victim went on for about three months. The relationship with the 14-year-old victim went on for three weeks, until the boy told his parents. His parents called police Tuesday, and Wilson was arrested Tuesday night.
Although police said the boys engaged in the sexual acts willingly, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said there is no such thing as a consensual sexual relationship between an adult and a child.
“If [they] are under 18 and you’re over 18 and you engage in sexual conduct, it is against the law,” said Montgomery.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton issued a press release after the arrest.
“As a father of two, my heart goes out to the victims and their families. A crime against a child is horrible and unimaginable on its own, but when someone of authority you trust is the suspect, it becomes something far worse.
“Detectives worked quickly to solve this case, apprehend and arrest the suspect, and the investigation is ongoing. I know that Phoenix has the best police department in the nation, and I have faith that our officers and our new Chief Daniel V. Garcia will work to make sure justice is done. The act of one officer does not reflect on the police department as a whole. Safety of our kids and Phoenix residents continues to be the top priority in our city, and I know Chief Garcia will work to ensure that,” Stanton said in the release.
Wilson, a former member of the US Navy and a 13-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department, resigned upon arrest in lieu of termination.
He faces 10 counts of sexual conduct with a minor. He remains in jail, and is not eligible for release because of the nature of the allegations. His next court appearance is set for August 15th.