Arizona Democrats have “disappeared” a political ad featuring State Senators Christine Marsh, and accused child molester Otoniel “Tony” Navarrete that mocked legislation requiring parental consent for sex education. In the video, Navarrete refers to other peoples’ children as part of “the LGBT community.”
“Tony Navarrete is both the Senate’s only openly gay member, and the one with the most patriotic nail game, gushed “Full Frontal” host Samantha Bee, as the camera zoomed in on Navarrete’s red, white and blue fingernails.
“We are seeing a huge amount of legislation that is being introduced that is particularly targeting the LGBT community, particularly our young people,” Navarrete claims in the video. He adds, inaccurately, that the bill would effect more than sexual propaganda in the sex education curriculum, but also “English, history, and mathematics.”
House Bill 2025, signed by Republican Governor of Arizona Doug Ducey on Monday, requires parental consent for questionable sexual content in sex education courses, and prohibits sex education before the age of five years old.
“It is very chilling,” said Marsh.
Why did the Arizona Democrats delete the video with Senators @navaretteaz (now accused of sexual assault of children) and @ChristinePMarsh mocking parental consent for sex education? pic.twitter.com/lAEVVRnPgg
— Merissa Hamilton (@merissahamilton) August 9, 2021
After Navarrete was arrested for child molestation, the Arizona Senate Democrats deleted the video from their YouTube page.
Ducey vetoed Senate Bill 1456, sponsored by State Senator Nancy Barto (R-Ariz.), last April. The bill sought to place heavy restrictions on content relating to gay or “transgender” aspects of sex, including AIDS and “gender identity” in school curriculum.
HB 2025 protects parents’ rights to transparency in their children’s education.
“Parents should have the right to know what their children are learning in school,” Governor Ducey said. “This is a no-brainer piece of legislation that protects our children from learning materials that aren’t suited for them. Every family has their own priorities for their children’s education, and parents should get to weigh in. I’m grateful for Senator Nancy Barto and Representative Gail Griffin for being leaders on this issue and sponsoring this legislation.”
Arizona Libertarian Merissa Hamilton urged followers to call for an “full ethics investigation” into the unseemly Democrat push for graphic sex education for children as young as kindergarten.
“If you want a full ethics investigation into Navarette and the push for graphics sex education starting at kindergarten by him,
@kathyhoffman_az, @katiehobbs, @SenQuezada29, and many of their colleagues, call and email your Senators, Hamilton tweeted.
HB2035 banned sex education before 5th grade.
It created a requirement for parents to review materials two weeks before sex-ed related curriculum would be presented in class.
It requires all sex-ed to be opt-in.
— Merissa Hamilton (@merissahamilton) August 9, 2021
Navarrete, a Phoenix Democrat, is facing seven charges of child molestation involving a young boy that could result in a minimum mandatory sentence of 49 years in prison if he’s convicted.
The first-term state senator is facing a Class 2 felony molestation of a child, three Class 2 felonies for sexual conduct with a minor, one Class 3 felony for attempted sexual conduct with a minor, and two Class 6 felonies for sexual conduct with a minor.
Navarrete, a 35-year-old lawmaker who bills himself as “passionate about justice,” was arrested late Thursday after Phoenix police received a tip about sexual conduct with a male minor that occurred in 2019.
The lawmaker was arrested Thursday night after interviews with the minor and witnesses gave police probable cause to arrest him.
“The suspect was arrested and is currently in the process of being booked into jail for multiple counts of sexual conduct with a minor, among other charges,” police said in a news release.
Specifically, Navarrete is accused of performing oral sex on the child when he was 12 or 13 years old. The boy is now 16 years old.
Navarrete is reportedly a co-chair of the Arizona LGBTQ Legislative Caucus, and has been the deputy director of the immigration nonprofit Promise Arizona (PAZ) since 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile. PAZ is a left-wing nonprofit organization that is about “building immigrant and Latino political power,” according to its website. According to the organization’s director, however, Navarrete hasn’t been on their payroll in years.
Earlier this month, Navarrete announced that he had tested positive for COVID, even though he was vaccinated in February.
.@NavarreteAZ is one of the breakthrough Covid cases after getting vaccinated in February. “Thankfully with the vaccine, my diagnosis is not a death sentence, but an uncomfortable inconvenience. I know that people are tired and frustrated, but it's time to mask up again,” he said
— Julia Shumway (@JMShumway) August 3, 2021
Arizona Senate Democrats released a statement last Friday:
“We are deeply disturbed by what we’ve learned from recent media reports about the arrest of Sen. Tony Navarrete,” the release said. “These allegations and arrest are serious and deeply troubling.”
“I will take the position of innocent until proven guilty,” said Republican state Sen. Kelly Townsend of Mesa. “However, if it’s true, then I don’t ever want to lay eyes on you again, [Navarrete]. I pray for your victims and I demand justice be done to its fullest extent.”
After having the weekend to mull it over, Senate Democrat leaders joined Republican leaders of the Arizona Senate to call on on Navarrete to step down.
Senate President Karen Fann of Prescott and Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios of Phoenix issued the rare joint statement on Monday:
“In light of the serious and disturbing charges against Senator Navarrete, we are joining together to call for the senator’s immediate resignation. The circumstances and serious nature of the felony charges faced by Sen. Navarrete provide an untenable distraction from his role as an elected official and public servant for District 30.
“The senator also now faces a Senate ethics complaint, and no one benefits from any further delay in his ultimate resignation. Child abuse and sexual misconduct of this kind is intolerable. We hope that justice will be ultimately served and pray for healing and support for all victims.”
Navarrete served one term in the state House of Representatives, beginning in 2016, and was elected to the state Senate in 2018.
In an interview about Arizona’s Department of Child Safety two months ago, the accused child molester said that abused children, “wherever they are” need to receive “proper care that is trauma informed, that is child-centered, so that they can heal, and recover from that traumatic experience.”