Arizona State Senator Resigns After Seven Counts of Child Sexual Abuse Arrested

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Ross D Franklin / AP / Shutterstock

An Arizona state senator resigned after his arrest last week on child sexual abuse charges.

Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete, 35, on Tuesday presented a brief letter of resignation to Arizona Senate Speaker Karen Fann, five days after the Phoenix Democrat was arrested on seven counts, according to the report. Republic of Arizona.

“Effective immediately, I am officially resigning from my post as Arizona State Senator for District 30,” Navarrete wrote in his written statement to Fann.

In a separate public statement, Navarrete maintained his innocence and “categorically” denied the charges against him. He has promised to “go all the way” to clear his name.

“While I would love for nothing more than to continue serving the families of Arizona’s 30th District, I fear that it may not be possible to give my constituents the attention they deserve. , I must resign from my post as Arizona State Senator today, “he said. noted.

Tony Navarrete

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Navarrete was charged with seven counts: three counts of sexual behavior with a minor (a class 2 felony), two counts of sexual behavior with a minor (a class 6 felony), one count of attempted sexual behavior with a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

Fann and Arizona Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios accepted Navarrete’s decision to step down after calling on him to do so in a joint statement on Monday.

“It was the right thing to do given the serious allegations”, Fann and Rios said in another joint statement Tuesday after Navarette’s resignation. “We know the Arizona judicial branch will deliver justice and pray for the healing and support of all victims.”

According to a police report, a 16-year-old boy contacted police last Wednesday and spoke with detectives who documented the alleged abuse, the Washington post reported Wednesday. The teenager said Navarrete first assaulted him in a Phoenix home when he was 12 or 13 years old. The abuse allegedly continued until the age of 15.

Tony Navarrete

Tony Navarrete

Ross D Franklin / AP / Shutterstock

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The next day, another 13-year-old boy told investigators Navarrete had already attempted to touch his genitals.

Navarrete said he “was not doing well” when faced with allegations of child sexual abuse, according to the report.

Navarrete, who became state senator in 2018, did not plead in his initial court appearance on Friday. He was released on Saturday after posting a $ 50,000 bond.

Navarrete could face a mandatory minimum sentence of 49 years in prison if found guilty on all counts, prosecutors said.

Republican Senator Kelly Townsend on Monday filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee in which she called for an investigation as to whether anyone at the state capitol or other state government agency was aware of the allegations against Navarrete prior to his arrest.

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