Audio of Arizona State Senator Tony Navarrete has been obtained by police, with him allegedly admitting to the sexual molestation of a teenage boy.
Navarrete, who is an open homosexual, founder of his party’s LGBT Caucus, and is considered a rising star in the Arizona Democratic Party, was arrested on Thursday, and charged with the sexual abuse and assault of two teenage brothers. The State Senator first appeared in court on Friday afternoon, with police recommending 7 felony charges against him, including three counts of sexual conduct with a minor under 15, one count of molestation of a child, two counts of sexual conduct with a minor over 15, and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor.
Documents from the Superior Court of Maricopa County detail the allegations against him. One of the victims claims that Navarrete touched him and “performed sex acts” on him in at least five separate occasions from the ages of 12 or 13 up until he was 15 years old. In the first incident, police say Navarrete put his hand down the pants of one of the victims, and also reportedly touched his brother’s leg, who hit Navarrete’s hand away to defend himself. Phoenix Police now claim that following an interview with the victims, they got one of the boys to call Navarrete, and have the audio of the call as evidence.
In the audio, police say Navarrete admitted to touching the penis of the young boy, who is now 16, and also performing oral sex on him. “Of course, I regret any bad actions that I did, absolutely wishing everything could be different,” the Democrat Senator said on the call, adding “I’m sorry, mijo,” an affectionate Spanish word for male children. When the boy confronted him as to why he committed the alleged crimes, which caused the youth to develop anger and anxiety issues, Navarrete can be heard claiming that he “wasn’t well,” and was sorry the boy had to “go through all this pain.”
During Navarrete’s court appearance, his lawyer, who said that the case should stress the presumption of innocence, attempted to set his bail at $15,000, but the judge imposed a far higher bond of $50,000. The bond also required Navarrete surrendering his passport to the authorities, and be forced to stay away from all children, including family members and his alleged victims, among other restrictions. Prosecutors pushed for the harsher restrictions due to the nature of his charges. If convicted, they could result in a minimum sentence of 49 years for Navarrete.
Following his arrest, the Arizona House and Senate Democrats called on Navarrete to resign in a joint statement. “The circumstances and serious nature of the felony charges faced by Senator Navarrete provide an untenable distraction from his role as an elected officials and public servant for District 30,” the statement read. “Abuse of this kind is intolerable and our hearts to go out to the victims. He should do the right thing for all involved and immediately resign from the Legislature.” Other Arizona politicians, including Governor Doug Ducey and State Senator Wendy Rogers, also demanded his resignation.
National File detailed that Navarrete was “deeply involved” in the educational sector as a State Senator, and had even “worked closely” with the Arizona Department of Child Safety. Multiple photos from his Facebook page picture him with school children of all ages, including one photo with a number of young cheerleaders.