U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Arizona
(602) 514-7500
December 17, 2014

Navajo Man Sentenced to 14 Years Imprisonment for Child Abuse

PHOENIX—On Dec. 15, 2014, Pernell Corna Sam, 38, of Chinle, Ariz., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes to 168 months’ imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. Sam pleaded guilty on Aug. 14, 2014, to one count of assault on a child resulting in serious bodily injury. Sam’s co-defendant, Shonya Sam, also pleaded guilty to one count of assault on a child resulting in serious bodily injury, and was sentenced to 168 months’ imprisonment on July 1, 2014.

Between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11, 2013, Pernell Sam and Shonya Sam, both members of the Navajo Nation, physically abused a seven-year old relative resulting in serious injuries. The victim was hospitalized and continues to undergo therapy as a result of her injuries.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Sharon Sexton and Tracy Van Buskirk, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

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