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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

Monday, March 17, 2014

Santostee Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Navajo Teenager

ALBUQUERQUE – Jayson Gustina, 24, of Sanostee, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to a federal assault charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Gustina was arrested on Oct. 23, 2013, on a criminal complaint charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and aggravated sexual abuse.  On Jan. 19, 2013, Gustina was indicted and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and abusive sexual contact.  According to court filings, Gustina assaulted the victim, a 16-year-old Navajo girl, and attempted to rape her on Aug. 21, 2013, in Shiprock, N.M. 

In entering his guilty plea, Gustina admitted assaulting the victim on Aug. 21, 2013.  He also acknowledged that the victim suffered severe bruising, swelling, and a fractured cheek bone as a result of the assault.

Gustina has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, Gustina faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI and the Shiprock office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul H. Spiers.  It was brought pursuant to 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 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 January 26, 2015