Arizona state senator Tony Navarrete, a Democrat from Phoenix, was arrested on Thursday, on multiple charges including counts of sexual conduct with a minor.
Navarrete, 35, was arrested on Thursday night after Phoenix police received a complaint about allegations of incidents involving sexual conduct starting in 2019. He allegedly molested and forced oral sex on a boy who was 12 or 13 years old at the time and his younger brother, reports say.
Navarrete Performed Oral Sex on the Victim Multiple Times
The boy, now 16, told detectives that Navarrete touched his genitals with his hands and mouth, starting when he was around 12 or 13 and continuing through his 15th birthday. The teen said he suffers from anxiety and anger that stems from the abuse, reported Fox News.
The teen's younger brother, now 13, told police that Navarrete touched his upper leg inside his shorts, causing the boy to slap away the hand and get up, detectives wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed in court.
In the recorded call, monitored by police, Navarrete acknowledged touching the victim's penis and performing oral sex on the youth multiple times over several years, according to documents released by Maricopa County Superior Court.
Navarette told the youth he regretted his actions, knew they were wrong and repeatedly told the youth that the young man was not at fault for any of the interactions, according to Arizona Mirror.
"Of course, I regret any bad actions that I did, absolutely wishing everything could be different. I'm sorry, mijo," Navarrete was quoted as saying in the phone call.
Navarrete Was Ordered to Stay in Jail Until a $50,000 Secured Bond is Paid
Maricopa County Superior Court Commissioner Steve McCarthy set the $50,000 bond requested by prosecutor Jeanine Sorrentino. Sorrentino said Navarrete faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 49 years if he's convicted of all charges, according to Fox News.
There were conditions that Navarrete stay away from children, have no contact with the victims and surrender his passport, among other things, reported The Arizona Republic.
Prominent Democrats Called on Navarrete to Resign
Republicans and Democrats are calling on the lawmaker to leave office in the wake of sex abuse allegations. All 48 Democrats in the Legislature called for Navarrete to resign his seat, which covers a broad swath of west-central Phoenix and parts of Glendale.
The Senate Democrats released a statement and said the allegations and arrest are serious and deeply troubling.
Who is Tony Navarrete?
Navarrete is an American politician and a Democratic member of the Arizona State Senate. He was first elected as the State Representative for Arizona's 30th District in 2016. In 2018 he was elected to serve as the district's state senator.
On January 13, 2017, he was one of 156 signatories in an open letter to President Donald Trump asking him to support LGBT rights.
The legislator is serving his second term in the Senate after serving one term in the House. He is also the Deputy Director of Promise Arizona, a non-profit organization in Phoenix.
Social Media Reactions
Netizens have expressed their displeasure over the horrific actions of Navarrete. One Twitter user wrote: "Seems to be a trend with Democrat politicians!" Another wrote, "Communities place a great deal of trust in elected leaders, and that trust has been shattered. Sen. Tony Navarrete must resign. Survivors of sexual abuse should be supported in every way when coming forward."
Some people believed that he should go to prison for life for messing with a child. One comment read, "I don't care what political party he represents. Go directly to jail. Do not collect a government paycheck."