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Press Release

Sanostee, N.M., Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Aggravated Child Sexual Abuse Conviction

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Lorenzo Begay, 49, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Sanostee, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon to five years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his aggravated sexual abuse conviction. Begay will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Begay was arrested in Jan. 2012, on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually abused a child under the age of 12 from July 2010 through June 2011, within the boundaries of the Navajo Nation Reservation.  Begay subsequently was indicted on that same charge.  According to court filings, the investigation into Begay was initiated after law enforcement authorities received a referral from the Navajo Nation Division of Social Services after the child victim disclosed the sexual abuse to a school social worker.

On May 15, 2013, Begay entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse and admitted sexually abusing the child victim.  Begay was remanded into federal custody after entering his guilty plea.

This case was investigated by the Albuquerque and Farmington offices of the FBI and the Shiprock Office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob A. 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

Updated January 26, 2015