The Latest: Lawmaker Steps Aside, Denies Child Cruelty

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) –  A California lawmaker is taking a temporary leave of absence from the state Assembly while disputing a misdemeanor charge of cruelty to a child. Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula announced he will take temporary leave Tuesday. He acted hours after Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp announced that he is charged with inflicting unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on a child. The Fresno Democrat says in a statement that he is shocked by the charges. He says the allegation that he may have harmed his 7-year-old daughter is “false and unthinkable.” He was arrested in December after officials at Dailey Elementary Charter School learned of an injury on his daughter and reported it to child protective services and the police. The maximum sentence is six months in jail.


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