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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 18, 2017

Navajo Man from Breadsprings, N.M., Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charges

Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood; Plea Agreement Recommends 15-Year Prison Sentence

ALBUQUERQUE – Brian Lee, 31, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Breadsprings, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to child sexual abuse charges. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Lee will be sentenced to 15 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Lee will also be required to register as a sex offender.

 

Lee was arrested on July 13, 2017, on a two-count indictment charging him with sexually abusing a child under the age of 12 on two separate occasions between July 2012 and July 2016, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M.

 

During today’s proceedings, Lee pled guilty to a two-count felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse and sexual abuse. In entering the guilty plea, Lee admitted that between July 15, 2012 and July 15, 2016, he engaged in sexual acts with the victim on two separate and distinct occasions at his home in Breadsprings on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Lee further admitted that he likely was responsible for infecting the victim with a sexually transmitted disease. Lee remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

 

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucy B. Solimon is prosecuting this case 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/.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated September 18, 2017