Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Ronald Martinez, 40, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Borrego Pass, N.M., entered guilty pleas this afternoon to two aggravated child sex abuse charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Martinez will be sentenced to 42 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Martinez will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
Martinez was arrested in April 2013, on an indictment charging him with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and two counts of abusive sexual contact. According to the indictment, between 1996 and 2002, Martinez aided and abetted sexual contact and abuse with two child victims who had not attained the age of 12 years on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Today, Martinez pleaded guilty to the two aggravated child sexual abuse charges. According to Martinez’s plea agreement, in Sept. 2011, a 17-year-old reported being sexually abused by Martinez when the victim was five or six years old. The victim also reported that Martinez also abused another child during that same period in time. Martinez admitted abusing the two child victims by directing another child to sexually abuse and to sexually assault the two child victims. Martinez also admitted threatening the two child victims so that they would not reveal the abuse. Martinez also admitted that the child who abused the child victims did so after being threatened by Martinez.
Martinez has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez. 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/.