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Press Release

Navajo man charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Indian Country

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Pedro Lee Benally made an initial appearance in federal court facing two charges of aggravated sexual abuse in Indian Country. Benally, 29, of Montezuma Creek, Utah, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain in custody pending a detention and preliminary hearing held on March 2, 2023.

A federal grand jury indicted Benally on February 23. According to the indictment and other court records, Benally allegedly engaged in a sexual act with a child, identified as Jane Doe. The alleged assault occurred in San Juan County, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Benally may face up to life in in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Department of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin L. Dillon is prosecuting the case.

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Updated March 1, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-38