Councilman accused of making obscene call pleads not guilty

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NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island city councilman charged with making an obscene phone call to a 13-year-old boy he says was sending sexual messages to his daughter has pleaded not guilty.

Newport Councilman John Florez was arraigned in Newport District Court on Wednesday and was released on his own recognizance. Florez says he was trying to protect his 13-year-old daughter from a boy sending aggressive and sexual messages.

The member of the non-partisan council says he repeatedly told the boy to stop sending the messages and contends he never threatened the boy with harm.

The councilman previously announced he was resigning for business reasons.

Florez on Dec. 4 obtained a temporary restraining order that prevents the boy from contacting his daughter.

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