ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona lawmaker jailed on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor

Aug 6, 2021, 3:55 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm
Otoniel "Tony" Navarrete (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
Otoniel "Tony" Navarrete (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona state Sen. Tony Navarrete was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor.

The Phoenix Police Department said in a press release Friday they had probable cause to take Otoniel Navarrete, 35, into custody after interviewing the juvenile victim and witnesses. The alleged crimes occurred in 2019 with a child who said he was 12 or 13 at the time, according to a probable cause statement.

Navarrete was charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor (class 2 felony), two counts of sexual conduct with a minor (class 6 felony), one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child.

“The suspect was arrested and is currently in the process of being booked into jail for multiple counts of sexual conduct with a minor, among other charges,” police said in the press release.

Navarrete is in his second term as a senator in District 30, which encompasses parts of Phoenix and Glendale. Before that, he served one term in the House.

“We are deeply disturbed by what we’ve learned from recent media reports about the arrest of Senator Tony Navarrete,” State Senate Democrats said in a statement released Friday.

“These allegations and arrest are serious and deeply troubling.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey called on Navarette to resign in light of the allegations.

Democrats, including Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Superintendent of Public Education Kathy Hoffman, also made calls for Navarrete’s resignation.

Bond for Navarrete was set at $50,000. His next court appearance will be a status conference Thursday at 10:30 a.m. before a preliminary hearing Aug. 16 at 10:30 a.m.

Navarrete was diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, months after he was fully vaccinated. He said Tuesday he was recuperating at home.

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Arizona lawmaker jailed on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor