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Lawmaker cleared of child cruelty returns to Assembly

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California lawmaker cleared last week of a child cruelty charge is back at the state Capitol.

Democratic Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula received hugs and handshakes from colleagues Wednesday. He took a leave of absence in March when he was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly hitting his 7-year-old daughter.

A jury found Arambula not guilty last week after a grueling trial that plumbed into the private life of a family well-known in Fresno politics. Arambula had said he spanked his daughter but denied hitting her in the face as prosecutors alleged.

Now that he’s returned to work, Arambula has been restored as the lead author of a key bill to extend health care to immigrants living in the country illegally.

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