Navajo Man from Tohatchi Pleads Guilty to Federal Aggravated Sexual Abuse Charges
Plea Agreement Requires Imposition of 15 to 25 Year Prison Sentence
ALBUQUERQUE – Donald Norton, 46, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Tohatchi, N.M., pled guilty this afternoon in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a felony information charging him with sexually abusing a minor child. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Norton will be sentenced within the range of 15 to 25 years in prison followed by not less than five years of supervised release. Norton will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.
Norton was arrested on Dec. 2, 2013, on an indictment alleging that he sexually abused the victim in Dec. 2009, and from May 2010 through Aug. 2010, in Indian Country in McKinley County, N.M.
During today’s change of plea hearing, Norton entered a guilty plea to an aggravated sexual abuse charge. In entering his guilty plea, Norton admitted sexually molesting a child in Dec. 2009. Norton committed the crime within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Norton 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 Albuquerque office of the FBI and the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Jacob Wishard 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/.