GOP Campaign Manager Guilty of Corruption of Minors

Jun 16, 2006 1:44pm

ABC News’ Andrew Katz and Fiore Mastroianni contributed to this report. A man convicted of "corruption of minors" after being accused of having sex with two teenage girls is working as the campaign manager for a Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona, according to documents obtained by ABC News.

Steve Aiken, a former Quakertown, Pa. police officer and self-proclaimed reverend, was convicted of two counts of corruption of a minor stemming from his 1995 sexual relationships with two teenage girls. He served almost two-and-a-half months at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

Aiken is listed as campaign manager for Randy Graf, a Republican in a five-way primary for the Congressional seat in Arizona’s 8th district. Aiken told ABC News he had been "falsely accused and convicted" of the two misdemeanor counts. Aiken says the candidate, Graf, was fully aware of the conviction when he was hired as campaign manager. "What he did was no more serious than providing a teenager with beer," Graf told ABC News.  "I believe Steve when he says he was falsely accused." The "corruption of minor" violations in Pennsylvania did not require Aiken to register as a sex offender.

Aiken advertises himself on his website as a leader of conservative thought, displaying photos of himself with leading Republicans including former President George H.W. Bush, Tom Delay, and Pat Buchanan.

Since his conviction, Aiken also has worked as a spokesperson for the Traditional Values Coalition, a Washington lobby group that represents over 43,000 churches.  A spokesman for the Coalition would only say, "He is no longer with us."

The self-proclaimed reverend met the underage teens in Pennsylvania through YouthQuest, a Christian counseling agency. According to testimony by the victim, reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Aiken "came into her room while she was asleep, undressed her and began to rub her breasts." Aiken reportedly forced himself on the girl about 15 times in the course of four months, according to the Inquirer. Aiken says the girls "made up the charges" because he had kicked them out of the YouthQuest program.

According to the Allentown Morning Call, at his sentencing hearing in June 1996, Aiken said, "Steve Aiken’s days of helping kids are over."

In addition to his political activities, Aiken also hosts a weekly radio program on KVOI in Tucson. Aiken’s website includes a "help wanted" page seeking high school or college students to work as volunteer interns on the radio program. On the show he espouses American traditional values and the abolition of "hate crimes" punishments. Aiken says "it’s all politics" and that he expected someone to dig up his past as the election neared in Arizona. Aiken says the Secret Service raised his convictions when he was invited to a White House event in Sept. 2004.  Aiken says he was eventually able to explain and gain access to a series of special briefings for Republicans inside the White House.

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