Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete has submitted a letter of resignation following his arrest last week on child sexual abuse charges, according to Senate President Karen Fann’s office.
Sen. Navarrete is a member of the Arizona legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus.
The resignation is effective immediately.
Democratic and Republican leaders of the Arizona Senate had jointly called on Navarrete to resign.
An ethics complaint that could lead to expulsion was also filed.
Monday’s joint statement from Fann and Democratic Minority Leader Rebecca Rios increased pressure on Navarrete to step down, showing a unified front from both parties to see the Phoenix Democrat gone.
Three people can be nominated to replace Navarrete and then the Board of Supervisors will pick a replacement. According to state law, that seat must go to a Democrat.
35-year-old Navarrete served as a Democrat in Arizona’s 30th District, which covers parts of west Phoenix and Glendale.
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Navarrete issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon:
It has been my absolute honor and privilege to represent the communities of Arizona’s 30th District. Recently, serious allegations have been made against me. 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.
While I would love nothing more than to continue to serve the families of Arizona’s 30th District., I worry it will be impossible to give my constituents the full attention they deserve. Therefore, I must resign my post as Arizona State Senator today.
On the call, Navarrete allegedly admitted to touching the boy’s penis and performing oral sex on him. The child previously lived with Navarrete and the abuse allegedly began when the boy was 13. Navarrete expressed regret and said he was not well when the abuse allegedly occurred; the boy says he now suffers anxiety and depression as a result of the alleged abuse.
The 13-year-old’s brother also told police that Navarrete had touched his leg, causing the boy to hit Navarrete’s hand, according to the indictment.