Former Phoenix police officer Christopher Wilson was sentenced to 23 years in prison and a lifetime of probation on Monday after pleading guilty to sexual conduct with a minor.
Wilson recently plead guilty to avoid trial. In the plea, he admitted to having sex with two boys, ages 14 and 17, beginning in March 2012.
Wilson, 47, served with the Phoenix Police Department for 13 years while working as a liaison for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community when he came into contact with the victims.
The state’s prosecutor Sara Micflikier argued before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Scott McCoy that Wilson deserved the 23-year sentence because he was criminally acting as a police officer.
“He was the face to the LGBT community and he spit on the face of that responsibility,” Micflikier said.
However, Wilson’s lawyer Robert Campos attempted to convince McCoy to a shorter sentence, saying Wilson followed the law after he made a small mistake.
“My client [Wilson] did the honorable thing . . . he didn’t blame anybody . . . he told the truth,” Campos said. “And now, he’s going to be sentenced to 23 years for a half-hour mistake.”
In addition to Campos, Wilson’s step-father Brian Lewis plead for a lesser sentence for his son, saying the sentence was too harsh.
“Chris [Wilson] was a victim too,” Lewis said. “He lost his dream of being a police officer. He lost his financial security, but he has not lost the love of his family.”
Lewis said both he and Wilson’s mother are in their 70s, so to them, “it feels like a life sentence.”
McCoy admitted while deliberating that it was “a challenging case.” Ultimately McCoy said that because Wilson was in a position of trust, the 23-year sentence and lifetime of probation was appropriate for the crime.
Part of the challenges centered on the age of the two victims, meaning that there were many legal arguments involving the victims’ rights. Because victim rights would have prevented Wilson from saying certain things about the victims in court, he decided to change his plea and take the deal.
However, in his affidavit to the court, Wilson referenced the reputation of the two victims, a move that Micflikier disagreed with.
“He [Wilson] asked the court to compare the conduct of a 40-something-year-old police officer to the conduct of a 17-year-old boy,” Micflikier said. “And the state completely disagrees with that.”
In his statement to McCoy, Wilson only said one thing in his defense: “I didn’t know that he was 14. He [the victim] lied.”
Although McCoy said “I believe you [Wilson] when you say you didn’t know,” he sentenced Wilson. In addition, Wilson will be permanently placed on the sex offender’