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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 27, 2016

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Assault Charges

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Patrick Wadsworth, 46, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Sanostee, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court to an assault charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Wadsworth was arrested on Jan. 22, 2016, on an indictment charging him with assaulting a woman resulting in serious bodily injury on Nov. 6, 2014, in San Juan County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Wadsworth pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on Nov. 6, 2014, he assaulted the victim by striking her and causing bruising to her face, arms and knees.  Wadsworth further admitted that the crime took place as his residence on the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI, the Farmington Police Department and the Shiprock Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez is prosecuting 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 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 June 27, 2016