Navajo Man from Magdalena Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charges
ALBUQUERQUE—Chris Apachito, 41, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Magdalena, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a felony information charging him with sexually abusing four minor females over a twenty-one-year period. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Apachito will be sentenced to 25 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Apachito will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.
Apachito was arrested on Nov. 21, 2014, on an indictment alleging the he sexually abused a child under the age of 16 from May 2012 through Jan. 2014. The indictment alleged that Apachito violated the young victim in locations within the Navajo Indian Reservation in Socorro County, N.M.
During today’s hearing, Apachito entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with having unlawful sexual contact with four children between 1991 and 2012. In entering his guilty plea, Apachito admitted sexually molesting an eight-year-old child and a six-year-old child between Sept. 1991 and Oct. 1991. He also admitted sexually molesting a 16-year-old child in March 2006, and a 13-year-old child between May 2012 and Sept. 2012. Apachito admitted that he committed these crimes in Alamo, N.M., which is within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Apachito has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristopher N. Houghton and Niki Tapia-Brito as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.