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Press Release

Navajo Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse of a Minor

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

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Byron Yazzie, Jr. was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Yazzie, 22, of Tohatchi, New Mexico, pled guilty to sexual abuse of a minor, sexual abuse and aggravated sexual abuse on March 23, 2023.

Yazzie was indicted by a grand jury on June 15, 2022. According to court documents, between August and November of 2020, Yazzie sexually abused three minor victims. Yazzie was nineteen years old at the time.

Yazzie met the first victim, a minor who had attained the age of 12 but had not yet attained the age of sixteen, through Facebook and began a sexual relationship with them sometime in August. On October 20, 2020, Yazzie engaged in a sexual act with a second victim. The victim told Yazzie “no” and they did not want to have sex with him, however Yazzie used his size and weight to threaten the victim. On November 5, 2020, Yazzie engaged in a sexual act with a third victim. Yazzie gave them alcohol, causing them to become intoxicated and incapable of participating in the sexual act.

On November 26, 2020, the second victim disclosed to a family member that Yazzie had assaulted them 2 days prior. During a subsequent interview with law enforcement, Yazzie admitted to sexually abusing the victim.

Upon his release from prison, Yazzie will be subject to supervised release for life and must register as a sex offender.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin L. Dillon is prosecuting the case.

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Updated August 3, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 23-168