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Press Release

Navajo Woman from Navajo, N.M., Sentenced to Ten Years for Federal Assault and Child Abuse Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Elmira Curley, 22, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Navajo, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 120 months in prison for her conviction on assault and child abuse charges.  Curley will be on supervised release for five years after completing her prison sentence.

The FBI and Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety arrested Curley on July 6, 2016, on an indictment charging her with abusing a child resulting in great bodily harm.  The indictment alleged that Curley committed the crime on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M., on March 14, 2016. 

On Feb. 13, 2018, Curley pled guilty to a two-count felony information charging her with assault resulting in serious bodily harm and child abuse.  In her plea agreement, Curley admitted that on March 14, 2016, she committed the crimes of assault and child abuse in Navajo, N.M., which is on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Curley admitted committing these crimes by putting the legs and feet of a nine-month-old infant into a bathtub of scalding hot water and causing the infant to sustain severe burns.  Curley acknowledged that the infant-victim was hospitalized for several weeks for medical treatment and received skin grafts to repair some of the second- and third-degree burns she sustained as the result of the assault and abuse.

The Gallup, N.M., and Phoenix, Ariz., offices of the FBI and the Window Rock, Ariz., office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety investigated this case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall.

Updated May 29, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime