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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 2, 2022

Navajo man arraigned on charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Indian Country

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Brandon Yazzie, 28, of Standing Rock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, was arraigned in federal court on April 28 on a four-count indictment charging him with three counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact. Yazzie will remain on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury indicted Yazzie on April 12. According to the indictment and other court records, on at least two occasions between December 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021, Yazzie allegedly sexually abused the victim, identified in court records as Jane Doe, who was less than 12 years old. On one occasion, Yazzie allegedly engaged in and caused sexual contact with the victim. Yazzie allegedly committed the crimes at his father’s residence in Standing Rock on the Navajo Nation.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Yazzie faces up to life in prison for abusive sexual contact and a minimum of 30 years and up to life in prison for aggravated sexual abuse.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Avondale (Arizona) Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Alexander F. Flores is prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
22-100
Updated May 2, 2022