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Press Release

Navajo Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing a Child in San Ildefonso Pueblo

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Samuel Billy, 49, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in El Rancho, N.M., which is located in San Ildefonso Pueblo, pleaded guilty this morning to a child sexual abuse charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Billy will be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Billy will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence. 

Billy’s guilty plea was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough and Special Agent in Charge Carol K.O. Lee of the Albuquerque Division of the FBI.

Billy was arrested on Jan. 7, 2013, based on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually abused a child less than 12 years old in early Nov. 2012.  According to the complaint, Billy sexually abused the child victim, who was left in his care, in his residence in San Ildefonso Pueblo on at least two occasions.  Billy subsequently was charged in a four-count superseding indictment with three counts of aggravated child sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact.  The indictment alleged that Billy sexually abused the child victim on four separate occasions between Nov. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2012, in a location within San Ildefonso Pueblo.

This morning, Billy pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with sexual abuse and admitted touching the child victim’s genitals while the victim was sleeping and incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct.

Billy has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  The charges in the superseding indictment will be dismissed after Billy has been sentenced.

This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito 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

Updated January 26, 2015