In the wake of his arrest on charges of sexual misconduct involving two minors, Arizona state Senator Tony Navarette (D) is facing calls – including from members of his own party – to resign his position immediately, as Fox News reports.
A one-time “rising star” in the state Democratic Party, Navarette. 35. now faces six counts of sexual conduct with a minor as well as a single count of child molestation involving a separate child, as the Arizona Republic noted on Friday.
The outlet reported that the Phoenix Police Department received information alleging that the lawmaker had been involved in sexual misconduct with a minor in 2019, and subsequent investigation – including interception of a phone conversation between Navarette and the primary complainant in which the former admitted his misconduct – revealed probable cause for his arrest.
Charging documents in the case indicate that the principle target of Navarette’s alleged conduct says that molestation at the hands of the legislator began when he was age 12 or 13 and proceeded for a number of years, and that individual’s younger brother also alleges that the state senator attempted to initiate similar contact with him, Fox News added.
It did not take long for Navarette’s colleagues on both sides of the aisle to begin demanding his prompt resignation, once news of the charges broke, and Democrats in the Arizona House and Senate issued a joint statement calling for the lawmaker’s voluntary departure.
JOINT STATEMENT: 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. pic.twitter.com/nDnHr12Wfm
— Arizona House Democrats (@AZHouseDems) August 6, 2021
The Arizona Democratic Party echoed those sentiments, saying on Friday, “While everyone in this country is entitled to a fair trial, elected officials must be held to the highest ethical standards. Given the gravity of the felony charges against State Senator Tony Navarette, the Arizona Democratic Party is calling for his immediate resignation.”
Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey joined those urging Navarette to step down, stating on Twitter, “These allegations are abhorrent,” adding that his “prayers are with the young victims and their loved ones during this traumatic time.”
First elected to the Arizona state House in 2016, Navarette served one term in the lower chamber and was then elected to the state Senate in 2018, as noted by the Daily Mail. The outlet added that little was known about the lawmaker’s personal life other than the fact that he is openly gay. If found guilty on all charges, the embattled legislator could face upwards of 49 years in prison.