PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona senator called police on a fellow lawmaker who told him to stop talking to people who believe there's a link between the state's foster care system and a worldwide sex trafficking ring.
Republican Sen. David Farnsworth told police that he felt threatened when confronted by fellow GOP Sen. Kate Brophy McGee.
Farnsworth has been meeting every two weeks with a group of critics of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, including a group that has accused the foster-care agency of direct involvement in child trafficking. Some on social media have claimed there's a broad conspiracy involving judges, caseworkers, lawmakers, the governor and prosecutors to cover up sex trafficking.
Farnsworth told the Arizona Capitol Times that Brophy McGee told him to "lose the entourage" of conspiracy theorists and "crazy parents" whose children were taken by state child welfare authorities.
"I'm not asking you to stop. I'm telling you to stop. Stop or my husband will stop you," Farnsworth recalled Brophy McGee telling him in a meeting on Tuesday.
Farnsworth said he mulled over her comment overnight and decided it was threatening, prompting him to call authorities.
Brophy McGee said she has been targeted by the people working with Farnsworth, and the reference to her husband was not a threat but an attempt to get him understand the gravity of the situation.
"I was trying to pierce through his view of women by saying, 'I have talked to my husband about this. My husband is very concerned. He said to tell you that he is very concerned and that you would understand what that meant,' words to that effect," Brophy McGee told the Capitol Times. "In other words, it's not me being a fluff head saying this is a problem. It's a problem."
A spokesman for the Department of Public Safety told the Arizona Republic the state police force received a complaint and is "looking into it."
Farnsworth told the Republic he has no proof for his allegations that Arizona foster children were being sold into sex slavery, "but those are my darkest fears."