Navajo Man from Thoreau, N.M., Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charges
ALBUQUERQUE – Bronson Ranger, 36, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Thoreau, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Ranger will be sentenced in the range of 120 to 140 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Ranger will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.
Ranger was arrested on Dec. 12, 2012, on an indictment alleging that he sexually abused a child under the age of 12 from Aug. 1, 2008 through Oct. 30, 2008. The indictment alleged that Ranger violated the young victim in a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M.
During today’s plea hearing, Ranger entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse. In entering his guilty plea, Ranger admitted sexually molesting the victim between Aug. 1, 2008 and Oct. 30, 2008, in McKinley County, N.M., which is within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Ranger has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle T. Nayback 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/.