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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Navajo Man from Farmington Sentenced to Seventeen and a Half Years in Federal Prison for Sexual Abuse Conviction

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Ferguson Pierce, 52, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Farmington, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 210 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for his conviction on an aggravated sexual abuse charge.  Pierce will also be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, and Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Pierce was arrested in Nov. 2015, on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually assaulted and raped a Navajo woman in San Juan County, N.M., on the Navajo Indian Reservation, on July 6, 2015.  Pierce was indicted on Aug. 25, 2015, and charged with aggravated sexual abuse. 

On June 6, 2016, Pierce pled guilty to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse.  In entering the guilty plea, Pierce admitted that on July 6, 2015, he forced his way into the victim’s residence and sexually assaulted the victim. 

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams prosecuted the case as part of the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico, which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native American women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

Topic: 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated December 13, 2016