A Democratic lawmaker in Arizona, deemed a “rising star” within his own party, is now facing the prospect of decades behind bars and a disgraceful end to his once-promising political career.
Arizona state Sen. Tony Navarrete (D) was arrested Thursday and appeared in court Friday to face multiple felony charges related to child molestation and sexual conduct with a minor, Breitbart reported.
The charges stem from the lawmaker’s own admitted abuses of two minors over the past few years in a police-monitored, secretly recorded telephone call with one of the alleged victims.
Local Fox affiliate KSAZ reported that 35-year-old Navarrete was ordered held on $50,000 bond by a judge Friday and, if that bond was posted and he was eventually released from jail, he be subject to other restrictions, such as the revocation of his passport and avoidance of all contact with minors.
Charged with multiple felonies
The alleged abuse and misconduct reportedly began in 2019, according to one of the alleged victims, now 16-years-old, and involved multiple instances of Navarrete touching the boy’s genitals with his hands and mouth.
The lawmaker is also alleged to have attempted to molest the alleged victim’s younger brother, now 13-years-old, but had been blocked from doing so by that child.
According to the probable cause statement of the police, Navarrete essentially admitted to the alleged actions and apologized to the victim while acknowledging the wrongful nature of his actions in a phone call that the police secretly recorded after the boy first shared his allegations last week.
The Arizona Mirror reported that Sen. Navarrete now faces seven felony charges for which, if convicted on all counts, would mean a minimum of 49 years in prison.
Those charges include: “One class 2 felony for molestation, three class 2 felonies for sexual conduct with a minor, one class 3 felony for attempted sexual contact with a minor, and two class 6 felonies for sexual conduct with a minor.”
Unified calls for resignation
According to the Arizona Republic, virtually all elected leaders in the state government and legislature, both Republicans and Democrats alike, have now called on Navarrete to resign from his seat in the state Senate.
That includes calls from all 48 Democrats in the state House and Senate, as well as the state legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus, of which he is a prominent member, who all decried his alleged crimes and demanded that justice be served.
Navarrete is scheduled to appear in court again for a preliminary hearing later in August, at which point he will likely enter a plea.