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, http://www.steveaiken.com/photo1.html" target="_blank">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.
â€™96 conviction no secret, says Graf campaign manager
by http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue/author/blake-morlock/" title="Posts by Blake Morlock">Blake Morlock on Jun. 16, 2006, under http://tucsoncitizen.com/morgue/category/special/" title="View all posts in Special" rel="category tag">Special
The campaign manager for former state Rep. Randy Grafâ€™s congressional campaign was convicted in 1996 of â€œcorrupting the morals of a minor.â€
Steve Aiken, a talk radio show host and Graf campaign manager, says he was falsely accused and convicted. He also said he told Graf about the conviction before joining the campaign.
Aiken served 74 days in jail after a Pennsylvania jury convicted him of two counts of corruption of a minor.
Two girls at YouthQuest, a Pennsylvania organization Aiken founded to help runaways, accused him in 1995 of having sex with them against their will.
The conviction is not a sex offense so Aiken does not have to register as a sex offender.
Aiken said one of the girls made similar charges against other men who gave her foster care but the judge in the case would not allow the menâ€™s testimony. The other girl, he said, later apologized to him and his wife for having made the claim but would not make a video statement out of fear of prosecution for false testimony.
Aiken would not give the girlâ€™s name.
â€œIt is what it is,â€ Aiken said. â€œI have spoken openly about it on my radio show for years.â€
Aikenâ€™s fate is in Grafâ€™s hands, as he said he would step down quietly if Graf asked him to.