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Press Release

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Sexual Abuse Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Lorin Nelson Dee, 74, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., entered a guilty plea today to a federal abusive sexual contact charge. 

Dee was arrested in April 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.  Dee subsequently was indicted on those two charges.  According to court filings, Dee forced a Navajo woman to engage in a sexual act on April 23, 2014.  The offense occurred within the Navajo Indian Reservation in San Juan County, N.M. 

This morning, Dee pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment, charging him with abusive sexual contact.  In his plea agreement, Dee admitted intentionally touching and rubbing the victim’s breast by use of force on April 23, 2014. 

Dee has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Dee faces a statutory maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback.

The case was brought 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 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.

Updated January 26, 2015