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Press Release

Navajo Man Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Abuse Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted Under Project Safe Childhood and as Part of Federal Initiative to Address Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Zachary Wilson, 28, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Dulce, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 36 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on sexual abuse charges.  Wilson also will be required to register as a sex offender.

Wilson was arrested on May 1, 2017, on a two-count indictment charging him with sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact on July 30, 2016, on the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation in Rio Arriba County, N.M.

On Jan. 9, 2018, Wilson pled guilty to two counts of abusive sexual contact.  In entering the guilty plea, Wilson admitted that on July 30, 2016, he engaged in two acts of sexual contact with a Jicarilla Apache female who had not reached the age of majority.  Wilson also admitted providing alcohol to the minor victim who became so intoxicated that she was incapable of declining to participate in or communicate the unwillingness to engage in a sexual act.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Dimas 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 driven largely 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 May 22, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood