U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Mexico
(505) 346-7274
September 17, 2014

Shiprock Man Sentenced to Eight Years for Federal Child Sexual Abuse Conviction

ALBUQUERQUE—Gilbert Yazzie, 45, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., was sentenced this morning to eight years in federal prison followed by 15 years of supervised release for his aggravated child sexual abuse conviction. Yazzie will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Yazzie was arrested in June 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he engaged in a sexual act with a Navajo child under the age of 12 years. According to court filings, Yazzie sexually abused the child victim on June 15, 2013, in a residence in Shiprock, which is within the Navajo Indian Reservation. On June 19, 2014, Yazzie pled guilty to a felony information charging him with sexually abusing a child and admitted that on June 15, 2013, he engaged in a sexual act with the child victim.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Novaline D. Wilson and Glynette R. Carson McNabb.

The case was brought 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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