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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 22, 2018

Navajo Man from McKinley County Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Abuse Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Clyde Peterson, 46, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Yahtahey, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a sexual abuse of a minor or ward charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Peterson will be sentenced 21 months in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Peterson also will be required to register as a sex offender.

Peterson was arrested on April 18, 2016, on an indictment charging him with sexual abuse of a child between the ages of 12 and 16 years from June 1, 2014 through Aug. 31, 2014, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Peterson pled guilty to the indictment, and admitted that between June 1, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2014, he engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim who was between the age of 12 and 16 years.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall pursuant to 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 women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was driven largely 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(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated February 22, 2018