Court sentences Arizona lawmaker convicted of child molestation to one year of prison

 April 29, 2024

Many are outraged over the fact that a judge has decided to sentence a man convicted of child molestation to only one year of imprisonment.

Not only that, but the judge's sentence is such that the felon, former Arizona state Sen. Otoniel "Tony" Navarrete (D), could be released sooner, provided that he behaves himself in prison.

The Washington Examiner reports that the judge handed down the sentence on Friday, April 26, 2024.

This comes roughly two months after a jury found Navarrete guilty of sexual conduct with a minor.


Just The News reports that Navarrete was arrested in 2021, which was during his third term as an Arizona state lawmaker.

"The initial indictment included Class 2 felony molestation of a child, three Class 2 felonies for sexual conduct with a minor, one Class 3 felony for attempted sexual conduct with a minor, and two Class 6 felonies for sexual conduct with a minor," the outlet reports.

It continues:

The charges alleged Navarrete molested one of the victims, a boy under the age of 15, between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2020. The seventh count alleges Navarrete attempted to engage in similar behavior with another victim under the age of 15 between May 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2019. Police had taken statements from Navarrete's family members and recorded a phone call between one of the boys and the lawmaker where law enforcement said he admitted to molestation.

A lot of this, however, ended up getting thrown out. This was the result of a mistrial that was declared in November 2023.

Instead, Navarrete only ended up being convicted of one count of sexual conduct with a minor aged 15 or older.

Only one year of imprisonment

Throughout all of this, Navarrete has maintained his innocence. In fact, he even turned down a plea deal that was quite favorable.

In exchange for pleading guilty, he would have only had to go to prison for 60 days and then be on supervised probation for 10 years. But, Navarrete decided to reject this plea deal, because he did not want to plead guilty to the charges.

This did not turn out to be that bad of a decision for Navarrete because the judge went easy on him.

To help put things into perspective, the prosecution was actually hoping to lock Navarrete up for 49 years. But, the judge decided to only give him one year, with the potential of an early release for good behavior.

It is not clear why the judge felt that only a one-year prison sentence was necessary.

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Thomas Jefferson
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