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Press Release

Man from Shiprock pleads guilty to sexually abusing a minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQERQUE, N.M. – Bennick Yazzie, 32, of Shiprock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, pleaded guilty in federal court on Jan. 14 to sexual abuse of a minor. Yazzie will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.

According the plea agreement and other court records, between Oct. 26, 2019, and Oct. 25, 2020, Yazzie sexually assaulted Jane Doe, who was 13 years old, on the Navajo Nation Reservation. 

By the terms of the plea agreement, Yazzie faces four years and nine months in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea N. Van Deventer is prosecuting the case.

Updated January 19, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 22-9