PHOENIX - FOX 10 has learned that an Arizona state senator who was arrested and accused of sexually abusing a boy and attempting to abuse another has been released from custody.
According to a brief statement by officials with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, State Sen. Tony Navarrete was released from the Maricopa County Jail at around 11:30 a.m. Navarrete is out of jail on a $50,000 bond.
Navarrete accused of touching boys inappropriately
Navarrete, 35, is accused of repeatedly abusing a boy with whom he was living over a period of several years, according to court records. The boy, now 16, told detectives that Navarrete touched him inappropriately starting when he was around 12 or 13, and continuing through his 15th birthday. The teen said he suffers from anxiety and anger that stems from the abuse.
In a phone call recorded by police on Thursday afternoon, Navarrete apologized to the teen, saying he regretted his actions and would have to live with them for the rest of his life, according to the court records. When asked why he did it, he told the boy he "wasn’t well," detectives wrote.
Navarrete made court appearance from jail
Navarrete made an initial appearance in court Friday and did not enter a plea on the charges, which include child molestation and sexual contact with a minor. He appeared by video from jail, most of the time holding an iPad so that only his forehead could be seen.
Prosecutor Jeanine Sorrentino said if convicted, Navarrete faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 49 years.
Politicians call for Navarrete's resignation
Navarrete was first elected as the State Representative for Arizona's 30th District in 2016. In 2018 he was elected to serve as the district's state senator. He is also the Deputy Director of the non-profit organization Promise Arizona.
The Arizona Legislature is not in session. Lawmakers finished their 2021 regular session in late June and, unless a special session is called, will next convene in January for the 2020 regular session.
Meanwhile, political leaders from both parties, including GOP Governor Doug Ducey, GOP Senate President Karen Fann, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, and Democratic Congressman Greg Stanton, have called on Navarrete to resign.
Navarrete represents District 30, which covers a portion of Downtown Phoenix, as well as a portion of Phoenix's Alhambra, Maryvale, and North Mountain neighborhoods.
The Associated Press AP) contributed to this report.
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