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Justice News

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Shiprock Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing a Minor

ALBUQUERQUE – Leo Thompson, 54, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Shiprock, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning to sexually abusing of a minor under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Under the terms of the plea agreement, Thompson will be sentenced to eight years in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Thompson will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Thompson was arrested on Jan. 29, 2013, on a criminal complaint charging him with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor.  During today’s proceedings, Thompson pleaded guilty to a felony information charging him with sexual abuse of a minor and admitted engaging in a sexual act with a child between the age of 12 and 16 years.  Thompson admitted penetrating the child victim’s genitals with his finger at a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation on Nov. 12, 2011.

Thompson 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.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Presiliano A. Torrez 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