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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 3, 2022

Navajo man indicted for sexual abuse of a minor

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 Leonard Lewis was arraigned on an indictment charging him with sexual abuse of a minor in Indian Country. Lewis, 65, of Shiprock, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain in custody pending space at a halfway house, after which he will remain on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury indicted Lewis on May 25. According to the indictment, between March 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021, Lewis allegedly sexually abused a child, identified as Jane Doe. The alleged abuse occurred on the Navajo Nation in San Juan County, New Mexico.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Lewis faces up to 15 years in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Department of Criminal Investigation and Navajo Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Chelsea N. Van Deventer is prosecuting the 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/.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 
22-129
Updated June 3, 2022