News and Press Releases

Hogback, N.M., Man who was Convicted on Rape Charge After Trial
is Sentenced to Twelve and a Half Years in Federal Prison

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of a Federal Initiative to Address
the Epidemic of Violence Against Native Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Acting U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and John Billison, Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, announced that Myron Jim Harry, 27, was sentenced this morning to 151 months in federal prison followed by ten years of supervised release for his rape conviction.  Harry will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Harry, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation from Hogback, N.M., was arrested in May 2010, based on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually abused a Navajo woman in Shiprock, N.M., on May 6, 2010.  According to the complaint, Harry committed the offense while the victim could not communicate her unwillingness to participate in the sexual act.  Harry subsequently was indicted on that same charge.

On May 9, 2013, a federal jury found Harry guilty on the sole count of the indictment after a four-day trial.  The evidence at trial established that, on the night of May 5, 2010, Harry and several others celebrated the victim’s birthday in a Shiprock apartment.  Early the next morning, while the victim was asleep next to another woman in a bedroom in the apartment, Harry entered the bedroom and the victim awoke to find Harry raping her.  The other woman, who awoke to find Harry raping the victim while the victim was asleep, yelled at Harry to get off of the victim and threw him out of the apartment.  Other witnesses in the apartment testified that the victim was in a state of shock and crying after being violated by Harry.  The victim was examined at a medical facility where a sexual assault evidence kit was used to preserve evidence.  The examination revealed that the victim sustained physical injuries to her vaginal area and DNA analysis revealed that Harry’s semen was found on the victim.  Harry testified in his own defense and claimed that he had been seduced by the victim and that the intercourse was consensual.

This case was investigated by the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Adams. 

The case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

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