State Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete

State Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete was arrested on suspicion of having sexual contact with a minor in 2009.

State Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete was arrested and booked on suspicion of having sexual contact with a minor in 2009. 

Gov. Doug Ducey subsequently said, via Twitter, that Navarrete should “resign immediately.”

Arrested at his Phoenix home, 35-year-old Navarrete faces five felony counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count of molestation of a child, and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor. 

“These allegations are abhorrent,” Ducey wrote. “My prayers are with the young victims and their loved ones during this traumatic time.”

According to published reports, the victim reported the abuse on Wednesday, Aug. 4. He said he was 13 years old when the abuse started. It lasted about three years and left the boy angry, depressed and anxious.

NBC reported that Navarrete confessed during a phone conversation with the victim that police recorded. He also apologized and said the alleged abuse was not the victim’s fault. 

Several days prior to his arrest, Navarrete said he tested positive for COVID-19. 

Since January 2019, Navarrete has served the 30th legislative district, which includes Glendale and Phoenix. A member of the Democratic Party, he served one term as a state representative for the 30th legislative district from 2017 to 2019.

Navarrete is a community organizer with Promise Arizona, a pro-immigration advocacy group that helps Latinos register to vote at taco trucks after Marco Gutierrez’s “taco trucks on every corner” remark.

Navarrete is one of four openly LGBT members of the Arizona State Legislature, alongside Robert Meza, Daniel Hernández and Cesar Chavez. He has participated in the LGBT Caucus in the Arizona State Legislature.