PHOENIX — Leaders on both sides of the aisle are calling on Arizona state Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete to resign from office as he becomes embroiled with allegations of sexually abusing a minor.
Navarrete was arrested on Aug. 5 after a 16-year-old boy told Phoenix Police the senator had been allegedly abusing him for years.
The 35-year-old Democrat represents Arizona's 30th District located in central Maricopa County. He took office in 2016 and won reelection in 2020.
Navarrete’s term ends on Jan. 8, 2023, but there are growing calls for him to resign immediately.
Here’s how officials in Arizona have responded to the allegations:
Arizona House and Senate Democratic Caucuses
"The circumstances and serious nature of the felony charges faced by Senator Navarrete provide an untenable distraction from his role as an elected official and public servant for District 30. Abuse of this kind is intolerable, and our hearts go out to the victims.
He should do the right thing for all involved and immediately resign from the Legislature."
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs
Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman
Gov. Doug Ducey
"Sen. Navarrete should resign immediately. These allegations are abhorrent. My prayers are with the young victims and their loved ones during this traumatic time"
Senate President Karen Fann
"Given the information documented in the findings of probable cause released by authorities, I am awaiting Senator Navarrete’s immediate resignation. These are serious and alarming charges that require Senator Navarrete to step down immediately. Our hearts are with the victims; child abuse and sexual misconduct are intolerable in every circumstance."
LGBTQ Arizona Caucus
"Our hearts go out to all victims of sexual abuse. Perpetrators of sexual abuse must be brought to justice. We are confident that the Phoenix Police Department and the Maricopa County Court system will do all in their power to see that justice is done."
LGBTQ Caucus Chairman César Chávez added, "For the sake of all involved, Senator Navarrete must resign immediately. My heart is broken. I am furious. If these charges are sustained and proven, it is a betrayal of trust that cannot be overlooked or ignored. Children deserve better. I implore the courts to make sure that every perpetrator of sexual crimes be removed from society and punished to the full extent of the law."
Rep. Ruben Gallego, Arizona's 7th Congressional District
This list will be updated. Stay with 12 News for the latest on this story.
Up to Speed
Catch up on the latest news and stories on the 12 News YouTube channel. Subscribe today.