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Arizona state senator arrested on charges of sexual conduct with a minor

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An Arizona state senator was arrested on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, sparking calls from  local Democrats for him to resign.

Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete (D) was booked into jail on Thursday, the Phoenix Police Department said in a statement shared with The Hill. He was facing charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, “among other charges.” 

The department said it received a report Wednesday of an incident that allegedly occurred in 2019. Detectives interviewed a juvenile victim and witnesses, and developed a probable cause to arrest Navarrete the next day.

Navarrete has been charged with seven felonies related to sexual misconduct with a minor, attempted sexual conduct with a minor and molestation, local independent news outlet The Arizona Mirror reported. He was held on a $50,000 bail. 

Following his initial court appearance on Friday, the Arizona House and Senate Democratic caucuses released a joint statement calling for Navarrete’s resignation.

“The circumstances and serious nature of the felony charges faced by Senator Navarrete provide an untenable distraction from his role as an elected official and public servant for District 30. Abuse of this kind is intolerable and our hearts go out to the victims. He should do the right thing for all involved and immediately resign from the Legislature,” the caucuses said in an emailed statement.

Two of Arizona’s top Democrats on Friday also called for Navarrete to resign. 

“In light of this evidence. Sen. Navarrete needs to resign,” Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) tweeted.

“These are incredibly disturbing allegations. Senator Navarrete should resign immediately,” added Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), who is running for governor.

Updated: 8:35 p.m.

Tags Arizona Ruben Gallego

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