Home Albuquerque Press Releases 2012 Navajo Man from Tse-Yah-Toh Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sex Abuse Charges

Navajo Man from Tse-Yah-Toh Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sex Abuse Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 17, 2012
  • District of New Mexico (505) 346-7274

ALBUQUERQUE—This morning in Albuquerque federal court, Kenneth Mike Etsitty, 58, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Tse-Yah-Toh, New Mexico, pled guilty to an information charging him with three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that, under the terms of the plea agreement, Etsitty will be sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment to be followed a supervised release term to be determined by the court. Etsitty also will be required to register as a sex offender. Etsitty remains in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

Etsitty was charged with aggravated sexual abuse in a criminal complaint filed on May 14, 2012. He was arrested the following day and has been in federal custody since that time.

According to the criminal complaint, the FBI initiated a criminal investigation into Etsitty in February 21, 2012, after a 9-year-old Navajo child disclosed that Etsitty had sexually assaulted her more than 10 times by penetrating her vagina with his finger. Thereafter, during a voluntary interview, Etsitty admitted sexually assaulting the child victim on approximately 10 occasions from the time she was 4 years old and until November 2011 by digitally penetrating her vagina.

In entering his guilty plea this morning, Etsitty admitted that he forced the child victim to engage in sexual acts on multiple occasions from January 2007, when the child was 4 years old old, through November 2011, when she was 9 years old. Etsitty admitted that each of the sexual attacks occurred in the same way: he digitally penetrated the child victim, who cried and asked him to stop, while masturbating with his other hand. The offenses occurred in Indian Country.

The case was investigated by the Gallup Office of the FBI and the Crownpoint Division of the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark T. Baker.