Sanostee, N.M., Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Aggravated Child Sexual Abuse Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Lorenzo Begay, 49, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Sanostee, N.M., pleaded guilty this afternoon to an aggravated sexual abuse charge. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Begay will be sentenced to five years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Begay also will be required to register as a sex offender.
Begay was arrested in Jan. 2012, on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually abused a child under the age of 12 from July 2010 through June 2011, within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation Reservation. Begay subsequently was indicted on that same charge. According to court filings, the investigation into Begay was initiated after law enforcement authorities received a referral from the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services after the child victim disclosed the sexual abuse to a school social worker.
During today’s hearing, Begay entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse and admitted sexually abusing the child victim. Begay was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service after entering his guilty plea. He will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque and Farmington offices of the FBI and the Shiprock Office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. Wishard 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/.