PHOENIX - An Arizona state legislator is facing mounting calls to resign from office, after he was arrested and accused of child sex crimes last week.
Navarrete accused of touching boys inappropriately
On Aug. 5, it was reported that State Sen. Tony Navarrete was arrested and accused of sexually abusing a boy and attempting to abuse another.
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.
The teen’s younger brother, now 13, told police that Navarrete touched his upper leg inside his shorts, causing the boy to slap away the hand and get up, detectives wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed in court.
Navarrete made a court appearance from jail on Aug. 6, and was released from jail the following day, on Aug. 7, on a $50,000 bond.
GOP State Sen. calls on Navarrete to resign
In the days following Navarrete's arrest, state leaders, including Gov. Ducey, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Superintendent for Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and State Senate President Karen Fann, have called on Navarrete to step down.
On Aug. 9, State Sen. Kelly Townsend (R) issued a statement via her Twitter page, where she issued an ultimatum for the Democrats to submit an ethics complaint against Navarrete and for Navarrete to resign.
If both conditions were not met by 12:00 p.m. on Aug. 9, Townsend said she will submit her own ethics complaint, as well as calling on Governor Doug Ducey to hold a special legislative session and expel Navarrete.
As of the afternoon of Aug. 9, Navarrete has not resigned from office.
During a news conference held during the afternoon hours of Aug. 9, Townsend said she has filed the complaint against Navarrete.
"It is incumbent upon us, as lawmakers, to comb through every law and policy that allowed for the failure of the system that brought about these heinous crimes against our most vulnerable Arizonans," said Townsend.
During the news conference, Townsend also said while a special session can be called at any time, she would recommend the legislature go through the process of an ethics committee. She has called on the ethics committee to take action now.
"I, as a mother, am not willing to wait for that. I don't think someone with these accusations and taped confessions deserve a single day longer in the Arizona Legislature, and I hope that we move swiftly to get this taken care of," said Townsend.
Ethics Committee Chair responds
On Aug. 9, State Sen. Sine Kerr, who is the Arizona State Senate Ethics Chair, released a statement that reads:
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