Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charge
ALBUQUERQUE – Gerald A. Tso, 25, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this afternoon to an aggravated sexual assault charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Tso will be sentenced to ten years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Tso will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
Tso was arrested on Feb. 26, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and subsequently was indicted on that same charge on March 26, 2014. According to court filings, Tso sexually assaulted a seven-year-old Navajo child on Feb. 26, 2014, in Shiprock, which is located within the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Today, Tso pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse. In entering his guilty plea, Tso admitted engaging in a sexual act with the child. Tso further admitted that the child was under the age of 12 years at the time he victimized the child.
Tso has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
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 Novaline D. Wilson.
The case was brought 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/.