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State lawmakers call on colleague to resign over inappropriate text messages

HARTFORD   — A Connecticut state legislator was under pressure Thursday to resign because of a series of text messages he allegedly sent to a teenage girl in 2015.

Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz called on Democratic State Rep. Angel Arce of Hartford to step down in a letter that was released publicly on Thursday, saying he had just become aware of the three-term lawmaker's personal conduct.

The Hartford Courant reports Arce had informed the speaker that the newspaper was seeking comment on a series of texts that apparently were sent from his Facebook Messenger account to a girl who was then 16. The Courant reviewed the messages provided by the teen and reported they "were not obscene but unusually familiar and affectionate in tone."

Arce is 57 years old.

Aresimowicz also stripped the three-term legislator of his leadership positions, which include assistant majority leader and vice chairman of the General Assembly's Transportation Committee. Aresimowicz also removed Arce as a member of three committees.

A message was left seeking comment with Arce's legislative office.

Arce gained public prominence in 2008 when he spoke out about how his 78-year-old father, Angel Arce Torres, had been struck by a hit-and-run driver in Hartford and was left paralyzed from the neck down. The accident drew national attention to Connecticut's capital city after video images showed Torres lying in the road as bystanders appeared to ignore him. Torres had been crossing the street after buying some milk before he was hit by one of two cars that were believed to have been racing down the city street.

Torres died a year later at the age of 79.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Connecticut State Capitol