August 10, 2022

AZ Dem state senator arrested after police say he admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor

In a development that sent shockwaves through Arizona’s upper legislative chamber, up-and-coming Democrat state Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarette was arrested last week on charges involving sexual conduct with a minor, according to the Daily Caller.

According to the outlet, contact was made with the Phoenix Police Department alleging that Navarette, 35, had taken part in sexual activity with a minor back in 2019, and after further investigation – including, as The Advocate noted, listening in on a call between the alleged victim and the lawmaker in which the latter admitted his misconduct – authorities deemed there to be probable cause for his arrest.

“Navarette was arrested and booked into jail on the evening of Aug. 5 for multiple counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor, among other charges,” police sources told the Daily Caller News Foundation, and according to the Arizona Republic, charging documents in the case state that the principal victim – now 16 – claims that the molestation began when he was 12 or 13 years old and continued for several years.

According to the Arizona Capitol Times, Navarette had built a reputation among Democrats in the state as a “rising star,” who many believed had his sights set on running for state treasurer.

Navarette was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives back in 2016, served one term there, and then he went on to win election to the state Senate two years later, according to the Daily Mail, which further noted that while not much is known about the lawmaker’s personal life, he is openly gay.

It did not take long for official reaction to Navarette’s arrest to make news, with state Senate Democrats issuing a statement on Friday expressing concern over the situation, but offering little in the way of additional detail.

“We are deeply disturbed by what we’ve learned from recent media reports about the arrest of Senator Tony Navarette,” the statement read, adding, “These allegations and arrest are serious and deeply troubling. Right now, it’s important to allow for due process to take place through our judicial system.”

Blake Masters, a Republican seeking election to the U.S. Senate used the occasion to make an apt point about the double standards so often in play when Democrats are accused of sexual misconduct as compared to members of the GOP, stating, “[now-Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh had some beers, got hit with wild & unproven claims, and {Arizona Democrat Sen. Mark Kelly] called him ‘dangerous,’” adding:

Now, Mark Kelly’s biggest ally in the AZ state senate, Tony Navarette, has been arrested and charged with child molestation. Does Sen. Kelly think Navarette is dangerous?

Expressing sentiments likely shared by countless Arizonans, hopefully on both sides of the aisle, Arizona Republic opinion writer Laurie Roberts declared on Friday, “There really should be no debate. Arizona Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarette needs to resign. Today, now.”

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