Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula has been charged with misdemeanor cruelty to a child, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
The complaint filed in the Fresno County Superior Court alleges a sole misdemeanor count of cruelty to a child by inflicting unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering
If convicted of the charge, Arambula, 41, of Fresno, faces a sentence of up to six months in jail.
He was arrested on Dec. 10 and charged with misdemeanor child abuse.
The assemblyman maintains he has never done anything more than spank his 7-year old daughter on her bottom. Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says otherwise.
“There is no injury to the buttocks, that’s not what we are investigating and even though we can’t talk about the specifics of the injury, i can say the injury in this case is not on the buttocks.”
Arambula released the following statement after charges were announced:
My wife and I are shocked that the District Attorney have decided to file charges. The allegation that I may have harmed one of my daughters is false and unthinkable. While politics may have influenced the decision to file, my wife and I are confident that our judicial system will find this allegation to be false. However, I have voluntarily taken a temporary leave of absence from the Assembly and have directed my attorney to request a speedy trial so this issue can be resolved as quickly as possible.
Arambula represents California’s 31st Assembly District in the Central Valley.