A Democratic Arizona state senator resigned on Tuesday after he was arrested and charged for allegedly molesting an underage victim and attempting to molest his brother.
According to police, Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete of Phoenix was recorded talking to one of the victims about what he did to the boy without knowing that police were listening in on the call.
On Thursday, the 35-year-old was arrested and charged with sexual conduct with a minor. The charging documents allege numerous inappropriate sexual conduct with a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old boy who were reportedly brothers.
After the details of the recorded call were publicly released, Arizona state politicians from both sides of the aisle demanded Navarrete resign.
“In light of these disturbing charges, House and Senate Democrats are calling on Senator Navarrete to resign immediately. Abuse of this kind is intolerable and our hearts go out to the victims,” said the Arizona House Democrats in a statement released on Friday.
The openly gay senator issued his resignation Tuesday but he included a denial of the allegations.
“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,” wrote Navarrete.
He went on to say that he could no longer serve the families of his district while defending himself against the charges.
Navarrete was released on a $50,000 bond on Saturday. A prosecutor said that he faces a minimum of 49 years in prison if he’s convicted of all charges.
Navarrete had been very vocal about his opposition to former President Donald Trump and his policies, especially those related to immigration enforcement.
Here’s a local news report about the heinous case:
Arizona state Senator Tony Navarrete resigns