Ex State Senator Tony Navarrete Approaches Conclusion of Second Child Molestation Accusations Trial

The future of a former Democratic legislator, whose court case involving child molestation resulted in a mistrial in November, may soon be determined by a jury. This week, he returned to court for the beginning of his second trial.

If Tony Navarrete, 38, is found guilty, he may face a maximum sentence of 19 years in prison.

Before his arrest in 2021, Navarrete was a prominent figure in Arizona’s politics, joining the ranks of many Latinos who became more politically active in the state. He was a deputy director for Promise Arizona, a progressive organization that advocates for immigrants, and in 2016, he was elected to the state House of Representatives to represent the West Valley. After serving one term, he ran for and successfully won a seat in the state Senate in 2018, and was reelected in 2020.

The Phoenix police took Navarrete into custody after receiving reports of sexual misconduct at Navarrete’s residence dating back to 2019. In a separate incident, Navarrete conversed with a boy over the phone while investigators monitored the conversation. According to legal records, Navarrete admitted to touching the boy and expressed remorse for his actions.

A different adolescent male claimed that Navarrete had engaged in sexual contact with him.

Shortly after being arrested and facing pressure from his colleagues to resign, Tony Navarrete stepped down from his position as Arizona State Senator. He was indicted by a grand jury on seven felony charges, including child molestation and sexual conduct with a minor. Despite pleading not guilty and rejecting any plea deals, the first trial resulted in a mistrial as the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Navarrete maintained his innocence throughout the legal proceedings.

This year, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office brought the case to a different grand jury, leading to the issuance of new indictments on four charges: sexual molestation, two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, and attempted child molestation.

The trial is expected to brief with expectations of closing arguments beginning Thursday afternoon.