Sexual abuse trial begins for ex-Arizona state lawmaker Tony Navarrete

The trial of Tony Navarrete, a former Arizona State Senator, is underway. Navarrete, a Democratic State Senator from Phoenix, faced arrest in August 2021 on charges of alleged sexual abuse involving an underage child and an alleged abuse attempt. Following his arrest, he resigned from office and was later indicted on six felony counts related to these alleged misconducts. If convicted on all charges, Navarrete could potentially face a mandatory minimum of 49 years in prison, which essentially amounts to a life sentence.

In response to Navarrete’s resignation, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors selected Raquel Terán, a State Representative at the time, as his replacement. Terán won another term as State Senator in the 2022 Election, according to official results from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.

The trial commenced on October 16 and is anticipated to continue into November. The prosecution’s opening statements placed significant emphasis on a recorded “confrontation phone call” initiated by one of the victims, during which Navarrete did not deny the allegations and issued apologies.

According to court records, Navarrete is accused of repeatedly abusing one of the boys over several years, beginning when the victim was around 12 or 13 years old and continuing until his 15th birthday. The defense challenges the “confrontation phone call” as hearsay and not solid physical evidence, contending that the case will largely rely on testimonies and lack substantial direct or scientific evidence.

Throughout the trial, the jury has heard from witnesses close to the victims whose identities have been kept confidential to protect the victims’ anonymity.