Home Phoenix Press Releases 2010 Chinle Man Indicted for Sexual Assault and Beating of a Pastor

Chinle Man Indicted for Sexual Assault and Beating of a Pastor
2005 Cold Case Solved Through DNA Testing

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 24, 2010
  • District of Arizona (602) 514-7500

PHOENIX—A federal grand jury in Phoenix has returned a four-count indictment against Eugene Clark, 25, of Chinle, Arizona for a violation of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, assault with a dangerous weapon, burglary in the first degree, and aggravated sexual abuse.

The indictment alleges that in January 2005, Clark broke into the home of a female victim, a lay pastor, in Chinle, Arizona. He repeatedly beat her in the head with a hammer while sexually assaulting her, and her injuries required hospitalization. A sexual assault exam revealed the presence of semen. The victim was able to describe her assailant, who was unknown to her. Despite an intense investigation and multiple interviews with possible suspects, a DNA comparison revealed none of those interviewed were the source of the semen.

In September 2010, the Northern Arizona Crime Laboratory, part of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, ran the DNA samples from the sexual assault through CODIS, a computer software program which operates local, state, and national databases of DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved crime scene evidence, and missing persons. Every state in the nation has a statutory provision for the establishment of a DNA database that allows for the collection of DNA profiles from offenders convicted of particular crimes. CODIS software enables state, local, and national law enforcement crime laboratories to compare DNA profiles electronically, thereby linking serial crimes to each other and identifying suspects by matching DNA profiles from crime scenes with profiles from convicted offenders.

The DNA sample from the prior sexual assault examination matched Clark’s, who was serving time for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Clark was convicted in 2009 in the Arizona District Court and lived in Chinle, where the sexual assault took place. The Federal Bureau of Investigation then obtained confirming DNA samples from the defendant.

“This was a brutal assault and the defendant eluded prosecution for a period of time because the case remained unsolved,” said Dennis K. Burke United States Attorney. “I commend the work of the Northern Arizona Crime Laboratory whose technology was key in identifying the suspect so that he can no longer elude justice.”

A conviction for aggravated sexual abuse carries a maximum penalty of life, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Murguia, will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted the Navajo Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dyanne C. Greer, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix is handling the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER: CR-10-8215-PCT-MHM
RELEASE NUMBER: 2010-254(Clark)