Defendant Prosecuted Under Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence against Native Women; Plea Agreement Requires 21-Year Prison Sentence
ALBUQUERQUE – Julius H. Willie, 30, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Standing Rock, N.M., pled guilty this morning in Albuquerque, N.M., to an aggravated sexual abuse charge. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Willie will be sentenced to 21 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court. Willie will also be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, Director Jesse Delmar of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, and Chief Robert Cron of the Gallup Police Department.
Willie was charged in April 2014, in a five-count indictment with kidnapping, three counts of aggravated sexual abuse, and abusive sexual contact. According to the indictment, Willie committed the crimes on Aug. 26, 2012, on the Navajo Indian Reservation in McKinley County, N.M. He was transferred to federal custody on April 24, 2014, from state custody where he had been held for two years on related state charges.
During today’s proceedings, Willie pled guilty to Count 2 of the indictment charging him with aggravated sexual abuse. In entering the guilty plea, Willie admitted that on Aug. 26, 2012, he forced the victim to engage in a sexual act.
Willie’s sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled. According to the plea agreement, Willie’s 21-year prison sentence will begin on the date of sentencing.
The Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety, the Gallup office of the FBI and the Gallup Police Department investigated this case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Novaline D. Wilson and Kyle T. Nayback are prosecuting the case as part of 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 American 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.