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Police report: Former Arizona lawmaker paid boys for sex in Baltimore in 1983

A court file suggested that David Stringer, pictured in 2018, was ordered to perform 208 hours of community service and enroll in a sexual disorders clinic at Johns Hopkins University in the 1980s.
A court file suggested that David Stringer, pictured in 2018, was ordered to perform 208 hours of community service and enroll in a sexual disorders clinic at Johns Hopkins University in the 1980s. (Ross D. Franklin / AP)

PHOENIX — An Arizona lawmaker who resigned this week amid an ethics investigation was accused of paying boys for sex, according to a 1983 police report released Friday by the House Ethics Committee.

The report, released with 426 pages of investigative files, offers details of the unspecified sex charges that prompted two ethics complaints against Republican Rep. David Stringer. He resigned Wednesday after refusing to turn over documents demanded by the ethics committee.

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According to the police report, a boy told Baltimore detectives that Rep. David Stringer approached him and another boy in a park "and asked if they wanted to go to his house and have some sex." Stringer performed oral sex on the boys, they did the same to him and he gave them $10 apiece, the boy reported. He said he had been back to see "Mr. Dave" at least 10 additional times and was asked to engage in sex acts.

Stringer turned himself in to police on Sept. 15, 1983, on eight sex charges.

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The charges against Stringer came to light in January when the Phoenix New Times published a summary of the court file, which had been expunged and was released inadvertently to the newspaper. The court file did not detail the charges but suggested he was ordered to perform 208 hours of community service and enroll in a sexual disorders clinic at Johns Hopkins University.

Stringer's lawyer, Carmen Chenal, has said he was never convicted of a crime. Stringer and Chenal did not respond Friday to requests for comment.

Arizona Rep. David Stringer resigned Wednesday amid an ethics investigation of 1983 sex charges in Maryland and his comments on race and immigration.

"The behavior described in Mr. Stringer's arrest report is absolutely appalling and sickening," House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, said in a statement. "I confronted Mr. Stringer with the information on Wednesday afternoon and again asked him to resign, which he finally did."

Later, Bowers released a joint statement with the top House Democrat, Rep. Charlene Fernandez, resolving to move forward.

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"The shock and horror we felt when we learned the details in this report are indescribable, not just as elected officials but as parents," the Bowers and Fernandez statement said. "This is not about politics, it's about the safety and security of children."

A spokesman for the House Republicans, Matt Specht, said a private investigator hired by the outside attorney investigating the allegations obtained the police report through a public records request of Baltimore police.

Stringer was already under fire even before the charges came to light for his racially charged remarks on race and immigration.

Republican precinct leaders in Yavapai County are meeting Sunday to nominate potential replacements for Stringer. The county board of supervisors will choose a replacement from the nominees.

Embattled Rep. David Stringer will not be allowed to submit documents in secret as the Arizona House Ethics Committee investigates complaints about his offensive comments and expunged criminal charges from the 1980s, the panel said Wednesday.

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