TRENTON — A South Jersey Assembly Democrat has resigned his seat effective immediately amid accusations of domestic violence.

But a statement from Camden County Democratic Committee Chairman James Beach said Assemblyman Arthur Barclay was stepping down for "health reasons."

"The county committee members of the Fifth Legislative District will convene in the next 8 to 10 days to fill the vacancy created by the resignation," Committee Chairman James Beach said.

The 36-year-old was a deputy Assembly whip in his first term. He faced a simple assault domestic violence charge from an incident on June 7, and is due in court on June 28, according to a police report posted by the New Jersey Globe political site.

“I am appalled to learn of Assemblyman Barclay’s actions. It is my understanding that he is doing the right thing and will resign from the General Assembly immediately," Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin said in a statement.

Unnamed sources told the news site that Barclay broke his girlfriend's nose when he punched her in the face.

The 6-foot-8-inch Barclay graduated from Camden High School in 2000 and was captain of the basketball team that won an NJSIAA championship. He played college basketball for the University of Memphis.

The Assemblyman posted on his Twitter account a message titled "food for thought" on Monday.

"It is okay if it takes awhile to get through all of this," the message read. "It is okay if it takes a while for your story to start to make sense because this is the very nature of a mountain never climbed. It is never easy to get over but it gets possible with time."

It's not clear if the words are his his original composition.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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