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Press Release

Navajo Man from Standing Rock, N.M., Sentenced to 21 Years for Federal Sexual Abuse Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted Under Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Julius H. Willie, 31, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Standing Rock, N.M., was sentenced this morning in Albuquerque, N.M., to 21 years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release for his aggravated sexual abuse conviction.  Willie will also be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence. 

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, 11th Judicial District Attorney Division 2 Karl Gillson, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and Chief Robert Cron of the Gallup Police Department.

Willie was charged in April 2014, in a five-count indictment with kidnapping, three counts of aggravated sexual abuse, and abusive sexual contact.  According to the indictment, Willie committed the crimes on Aug. 26, 2012, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M.  He was transferred to federal custody on April 24, 2014, from state custody where he had been held for two years on related state charges.

On June 9, 2016, Willie pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment charging him with aggravated sexual abuse.  In entering the guilty plea, Willie admitted that on Aug. 26, 2012, he forced the victim to engage in a sexual act. 

Willie’s 21-year federal term of imprisonment commenced today without credit for the four years he already has served in state primary custody on pending related state charges.  The 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will now move forward with prosecuting Willie on his pending state charges.

The Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, the Gallup office of the FBI and the Gallup Police Department investigated this case with assistance from the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Novaline D. Wilson and Kyle T. Nayback prosecuted the case as part of 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 American 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 November 3, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice