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NAVAJO MAN FROM SMITH LAKE SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS FOR FEDERAL AGGRAVATED CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE CONVICTION

ALBUQUERQUE – Galvan L. Betonie, 25, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Smith Lake, N.M., was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 216 months of imprisonment for his conviction on two aggravated child sexual abuse charges.

            Betonie previously pleaded guilty to the two charges on April 18, 2019.  In his plea agreement, Betonie admitted committing the crimes in Indian Country in McKinley County, N.M., on Nov. 18, 2016.  According to the plea agreement, Betonie sexually abused a child who had not attained the age of twelve years.

            The case was investigated by the Gallup office of the FBI and the Crownpoint office of the Navajo Nation Division of Public Safety.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Novaline D. Wilson prosecuted 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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