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Justice News

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

Monday, November 5, 2018

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Abuse Charge

Defendant Prosecuted under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – Theisman Tsosie, 26, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Pueblo Pintado, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a child abuse charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Tsosie will be sentenced to 60 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Tsosie was arrested on Feb. 23, 2018, and charged in a federal criminal complaint with slapping and kicking a six-year-old Navajo child requiring that the victim be sent to the hospital.  According to court documents, the victim suffered multiple injuries including: a complex occipital skull fracture, bruising on the face, abrasion on the left hip, bruise on the inner thigh, scab on the scalp, bruise on the left ear, linear bruise with quality of an overlying abrasion on the right cheek and jaw, scab on the chin, bruise on the right cheek, injured lip with bruising, bruise under the left nostril, bruise under the nasal bridge, bruise with abrasion under the left eye, bruise with abrasion on the left forehead and left eyebrow area, and a large left posterior flank contusion.

Tsosie was subsequently indicted on March 13, 2018, and charged with abandonment or abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm.  According to the indictment, Tsosie committed the offense on Feb. 21, 2018, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Tsosie pled guilty to an information charging him with assault resulting in substantial bodily injury.  In entering the guilty plea, Tsosie admitted that on Feb. 21, 2018, he pushed and hit a child under the age of 16-years, resulting in the victim sustaining a fractured skull and other contusions and abrasions.

Tsosie remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Allison Jaros and Kyle T. Nayback are 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

Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 5, 2018