Democrat Lawmaker Resigns, Charged With Child Molestation

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Democrat Lawmaker Resigns, Charged With Child Molestation

After facing increased pressure to step down, a Democrat lawmaker has resigned over child molestation charges against him.

Arizona state Senator Tony Navarrete, a Democrat, has resigned from his position after being arrested for molesting a child.

Republican Senate President Karen Fann announced on August 10th that Senator Navarrete had sent her a brief email informing her of his decision to resign immediately.

His decision came amid increasing pressure from both sides of the aisle to step down from his seat, where he represents a Phoenix-area district.

Phoenix police arrested Navarrete last week after a now-16 year old boy came forward to reveal that the state senator had molested him starting when he was around 12 or 13 years old and continuing until he was 15.

A probable cause statement filed by police, which supported the charges, indicates that detectives had recorded a call between the boy and Senator Navarrete where the senator allegedly acknowledged the molestation and apologized to the boy.

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Jack Posobiec, senior editor at Human Events, reports: “In a recorded call monitored by police AZ Democrat Senator Tony Navarrete acknowledged performing oral sex on underage youth multiple times over several years.”

The state senator is now facing a child molestation charge, as well as multiple charges of sexual conduct with a minor. Navarrete did not enter a plea during his initial appearance in court, though he was released on $50,000 bond on August 7th.

According to the prosecutor, the state senator is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 49 years in prison if he is convicted on all charges.

Navarrete released a statement on August 10th, in which he said: “Serious allegations have been made against me. I adamantly deny all allegations that have been made and will pursue all avenues in an effort to prove my innocence. In doing so, I will be focusing the vast majority of my time and energy on my defense.”

“While I would love nothing more than to continue to serve the families of Arizona’s 30th District, I worry it will be impossible to give my constituents the full attention they deserve. Therefore, I must resign my post as Arizona State Senator today,” Navarrete added.

Several Arizona state lawmakers have released statements on the issue as well.

A joint statement from Republican Senate President Karen Fann and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Rebecca Rios reads: “This was the right thing to do considering the serious allegations. We know that the Arizona Judicial Branch will deliver justice and pray for healing and support for all victims.”

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will be choosing a replacement for Senator Navarrete.

According to reporting from a local news outlet, “Normally, local Democratic Party officials would vet candidates, but there are now fewer than the required number of elected precinct committeemen in the district. Instead, a citizen’s committee will be chosen by the board to develop a list of three candidates for supervisors to choose from.”