A Democratic Arizona state senator was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting two teenaged brothers, and police say they have him on audio admitting to the crimes.
Sen. Otoniel "Tony" Navarrete of Phoenix was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of having sexual conduct with a minor, police said.
The openly gay 35-year-old Democrat is accused of inappropriately touching a boy who was 14 at the time of the incident in 2019.
According to Maricopa County Superior Court documents, one of the victims claimed that Navarrete touched him and performed sex acts on him more than five times from the time he was about 12 or 13 years old until he was 15 years old.
Police say they recorded Navarrete talking to one of the victims and admitting to the molestation.
"Of course, I regret any bad actions that I did, absolutely wishing everything could be different. I'm sorry, mijo," Navarrete was quoted as saying on the recording. Police say he was not aware they were recording the call.
When the victim, who is now 16 years old, asked Navarrete why he touched the boy's penis, he reportedly replied that he was "not well."
Navarrete made his first appearance in court via an iPad because he is also infected with the coronavirus with mild symptoms despite being vaccinated.
Police recommended seven felony charges including three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of molestation of a child.
Navarrete's attorney pressed for a more lenient bond of $15,000 on the basis that he had cooperated with police, but the judge ordered a $50,000 bond. He added some conditions to the bond including the forfeiture of Navarrete's passport.
Dems demand resignation
Many of Navarrete's legislative colleagues called for his resignation after the details of the charges were released.
"Like many in our community, I am grieving as more details come out about the charges against my Senate seatmate. I am calling on Senator Otoniel 'Tony' Navarrete to resign immediately. We are elected to protect the most vulnerable, and that begins with our children," tweeted state house member Raquel Teran.
"In light of these disturbing charges, House and Senate Democrats are calling on Senator Navarrete to resign immediately. Abuse of this kind is intolerable and our hearts go out to the victims," read a statement from Arizona House Democrats.
"Although every person is granted the right to a fair trial, we believe that it is in the best interest of the residents in Legislative District 30 that Sen. Navarrete resign immediately," said a statement from the Young Democrats of Arizona.
Navarrete had been an outspoken critic of former President Donald Trump.
Here's more about the stunning arrest of Navarrete:
AZ legislator Tony Navarrete arrested for alleged sexual conduct with a minor | LiveNOW From FOX www.youtube.com