A rising star in Arizona’s Democratic Party is now facing calls for his resignation after being arrested for sexually abusing a teen boy multiple times, beginning when the child was just 12 or 13 years old.
State Senator Tony Navarrete is now facing a minimum of 49 years in prison after being accused of seven felony counts of sexual abuse involving two teen boys over a span of several years.
The first victim says that Navarrette touched him inappropriately and performed a sex act on him, during which the child says he was shaking, according to the Pheonix New Times.
When the child tried to get up, Navarrette reportedly said, “Oh I shouldn’t be doing this, this is wrong.”
This allegedly happened again when the boy was 15, during which he said he felt afraid and wasn’t sure what to do.
The now-16-year-old says the abuse has caused “anger and anxiety issues,” according to state records.
Police also interviewed the teen’s younger brother, who said that Navarrette once made similar advances on him but that he’d slapped the man’s hand away as he tried to touch him.
During the investigation, police arranged a recorded phone call between the older boy and Navarrete in which victim confronted abuser.
The Arizona lawmaker reportedly told the teen that he “wasn’t well” when the incident occurred and that he was “regretful and not happy.”
One imagines if he is guilty of these heinous crimes, he is certainly significantly more regretful of the actions he took now that he’s facing several decades in prison for the offenses.
“Of course, I regret any bad actions that I did, absolutely wishing everything could be different. I’m sorry, mijo,” he reportedly told his victim.
AZ Central reported that the Maricopa County Superior Court set a $50,000 bond on the lawmaker and placed several restrictions on him should he be released. Navarette made an initial court appearance on Friday.
While his fellow Arizona Democrats initially signaled they would let due process take its course when the 35-year-old party darling, who is openly gay, was initially arrested, they went further and called for his resignation once the details of the case were released.
Earlier this year, when the Arizona state Senate was mulling over a bill that would place restrictions on sex ed in the state’s public schools, Navarrete vocally opposed turning the opt-out system into an opt-in system, which he argued would restrict too much of the school curricula.
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