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Press Release

Former Navajo Police Department Officer Indicted in New Mexico on Civil Rights Charges

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Albuquerque, N.M., today indicted a former police officer with the Navajo Police Department on charges related to the sexual abuse of a woman who was in his custody on Jan. 25, 2009, announced the Department of Justice.


Lawrence Etsitty Jr., 30, was charged in count one of the indictment with violating the civil rights of the victim when he groped, touched and kissed her against her will, while she was restrained in handcuffs. Count two of the indictment charges Etsitty, with making false statements to the FBI.


An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


Anyone with information regarding this matter is encouraged to call the FBI at 505-889-1300.


This case is being investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Fara Gold of the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Updated August 24, 2015

Press Release Number: 11-1713