What child cruelty complaint could mean for Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula


California assemblyman and doctor Joaquin Arambula passionately defending himself, in December of 2018, after he was arrested at his 7-year-old daughter’s school. 

“I had a daughter that was acting out,” Arambula saying in an interview at the time. “I’m embarrassed to say, it’s something we don’t routinely do, but I did spank her on her bottom.”

Tuesday, Arambula facing a misdemeanor criminal charge of cruelty to a child.

Arambula accused of willfully inflicting on a child, quote, in part, “unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering.”

“They swat them on the butt and you know, send them to bed or something like that,” Fresno attorney David Mugridge saying of discipline practices, and this charge. “It’s got to be something more than that, but not significant enough to merit a felony case.”

Mugridge telling us, Arambula could face trouble in the political realm or his private practice, but jailtime, is doubtful. 

Also saying, Arambula will probably keep his medical license, and his kids.

The Medical Board of California looking into the allegations.

“Anytime you have an abuse against a child, it is significant,” Mugridge said. “But when you put it in light, and compare it to everything else, it isn’t a huge case.”

As for Arambula’s claims, the complaint is politically motivated, the Fresno County District Attorney’s office saying that’s “100% not correct,” and filing decisions are based on, “the law and evidence collected during the investigation.”

“The farthest thought from my mind, is that this is a political act from the office of the district attorney,” Mugridge said. “That’s not the district attorney that I know.”

Mugridge says Arambula could enter a negotiated plea, and may have to take child abuse restorative classes for some time, if convicted.

Arambula is expected in court tomorrow morning.

Reporting live in Downtown Fresno, Megan Rupe.

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