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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Tse Bonito man indicted for sexual abuse

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced that Tom Tso was arraigned on Nov. 15 on an indictment charging him with sexual abuse. Tso, 84, of Tse Bonito, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will remain at a halfway house on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

A federal grand jury indicted Tso on Nov. 9. According to the indictment, between Aug. 4, 1998, and Oct. 11, 2000, Tso allegedly engaged in and attempted to engage in sexual acts with a victim, identified as Jane Doe, who was physically incapable of declining to participate in, and communicating unwillingness to engage in, that sexual act. Jane Doe is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, and the alleged assault occurred on the Navajo Nation.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Tso faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Alexander F. Flores is prosecuting the case 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/.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 
22-258
Updated November 16, 2022