Kirtland Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Statutory Rape Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – Justin Chee, 24, a member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Kirtland, N.M., was sentenced this morning to 30 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his statutory rape conviction. Chee will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
Chee was arrested in March 2014, on a criminal complaint alleging that he engaged in a sexual act with a Jicarilla Apache child between the age of 12 and 16 years. Chee subsequently was indicted and charged with statutory rape. According to the indictment, Chee committed the offense in Aug. 2012, in a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Chee pled guilty to the indictment on June 16, 2014, and admitted that on Aug. 30, 2012, when he was 22 years of age, he knowingly engaged in a sexual act with the 14-year-old victim.
This case was investigated by the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department and the San Juan Sheriff’s Office, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback.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/.