Progress Now Arizona Calls on Representative Sonny Borrelli to Withdraw From Race Following Domestic Violence Allegations

Phoenix– Following a recent article published by the Arizona Capitol Times detailing Representative Sonny Borrelli’s involvement in a domestic violence case, Progress Now Arizona believes the Representative should withdraw from his Senate race. Representative Borrelli pled guilty to a domestic violence charge for assaulting his wife at their home in 2001. Borrelli allegedly punched his wife multiple times.

Lake Havasu prosecutors charged Borrelli with class 1 misdemeanor assault with domestic violence. Borrelli pleaded guilty to a class 1-misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Court records of the domestic violence plea agreement and the restraining order have been purged from public record, in accordance with retention laws for local courts in Arizona’s judicial code. This leaves only the police report to provide details of the incident.
According to the Lake Havasu City police report during an argument in March 2001, Borrelli struck his wife in the mouth three times, shoved her to the ground, and then tried to leave his home with the couple’s children.
Here are some excerpts from the Lake Havasu Police Report of what occurred:
  • Borrelli punched his wife in the face with a closed fist three times.
  • Borrelli pushed his wife hard enough that she fell into a video poker machine in the living room. Borrelli’s wife also told police that he pushed her to the ground three different times.
  • When Borrelli’s stepson ran into his bedroom, locked the door and called the police, Borrelli forced open the door, damaging the doorframe, and ripped the phone out of the wall, the report stated.
Borrelli denies the incident ever happened and instead blames his wife, saying she had a “psychotic episode.” He also blamed Arizona’s domestic violence laws; everyone except himself for the accusations that he violently assaulted his wife at their home.
“This report that Representative Borrelli was charged with a class 1 misdemeanor assault with domestic violence is alarming. And I wonder why it has taken this long for it to come to a more public light. The voters of District 5 don’t deserve representation from a man with a history of violent outbursts on the House Floor and at his home. Someone who does not take responsibility for assaulting his wife and instead blames the victim should not be in elected office. He ought to withdraw from the Senate race immediately,” said Josselyn Berry, Executive Director of Progress Now Arizona.
The Arizona Coalition for Domestic Violence released a statement on the incident saying, “The recent article published by Arizona Capitol Times regarding an incident of domestic violence involving Representative Sonny Borelli demonstrates how much work we still have to do. The language used by Representative Borelli is concerning as it minimizes the experiences of domestic violence survivors and perpetuates the myth that domestic violence allegations are fabricated or that calling 911 results in a quick arrest and guilty conviction. We expect more from our lawmakers and that they would understand the dangerousness of domestic violence and how their language impacts survivors.”