U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico
(505) 346-7274
July 7, 2015

Navajo Man from Magdalena Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Sexually Abusing Four Children

ALBUQUERQUE—Chris Apachito, 41, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Magdalena, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 25 years in prison for sexually abusing four minor females over a twenty-one-year period. Apachito will be on lifetime supervised release after completing his prison sentence. He also will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

“The defendant in this case sexually abused at least four children over the course of two decades, displaying an utter disregard for human decency and the law. The victims demonstrated remarkable courage by bravely reporting the defendant’s crimes and helping to bring an end to a sexual predator’s abusive actions,” said U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez. “I commend the FBI agents, the Navajo Nation’s tribal officers and the prosecutors for working together to protect our tribal communities. It is only through cooperative efforts like this that we can keep sexual predators away from our children.”

“I commend our tribal officers, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their excellence and hard work on this case. The facts giving rise to this case are very unfortunate, and our prayers are with the victims and their families,” said Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Apachito was arrested on Nov. 21, 2014, on an indictment charging him with sexually abusing a child under the age of 16 from May 2012 through Jan. 2014. The indictment alleged that Apachito violated the victim in locations within the Navajo Indian Reservation in Socorro County, N.M.

On March 26, 2015, 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 committed these crimes in Alamo, N.M., which is within the Navajo Indian Reservation.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. The case was 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/.

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