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Justice News

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

Friday, July 1, 2016

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charge

Defendant Prosecuted Under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – Henderson Shorty, 53, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to an abusive sexual contact charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Shorty will be sentenced within the range of 24 to 30 months in federal prison followed by not less than five years of supervised release.  Shorty also will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Shorty was arrested in Feb. 2016, on an indictment charging him with abusive sexual contact.  The indictment charged Shorty with sexually abusing a child under the age of 12 years on Jan. 24, 2013, in Indian Country in McKinley County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Shorty pled guilty to an abusive sexual contact charge in a felony information.  In entering the guilty plea, Shorty admitted that from Jan. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013, he had sexual contact with a child under the age of 12.  Shorty admitted committing the crime on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  Shorty remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled. 

This case was investigated by the Farmington office of the FBI.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Y. Ramirez 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

Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 1, 2016