A Maricopa County grand jury has released its indictment of former state Sen. Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete, accusing him of several instances of felony sexual conduct or attempted felony sexual conduct with a young child.
Navarrete faces one count of molestation of a child (Class 2 felony), three counts of sexual conduct with a minor (Class 2 felony as dangerous crimes against children), two counts of sexual conduct with a minor (Class 6 felony) and one count of attempt to commit molestation of a child (Class 2 felony as a dangerous crime against children).
If convicted on all counts, Navarrete faces 49 years in prison.
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel’s office released the unsealed indictment Thursday afternoon. Navarrete was arraigned Friday.
Police apprehended Navarrete, 35, on Aug. 5 after collecting statements from at least one of the victims and recording a phone call between the child and the former Phoenix lawmaker, when he allegedly admitted to molesting the boy.
He was found in his home, where he was quarantined because of a previously-announced COVID-19 infection.
According to the indictment, Navarrete molested one of the victims, a boy under the age of 15, between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2020. The seventh count alleges Navarrete attempted to engage in similar behavior with another victim under the age of 15 between May 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2019.
After resigning from office amid bipartisan calls to do so, Navarrete adamantly claimed he was innocent and vowed to “pursue all avenues in an effort to prove my innocence.”
A criminal charge is an accusation and Navarrete is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty, Adel’s office said in a release.
Navarrete was released after posting bond and is confined to his residence.
This article was originally posted on Grand jury indicts former Arizona lawmaker on child sex allegations