NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The District of New Mexico United States Attorney’s Office reports that 24-year-old Derrick Mason of Fruitland, New Mexico pleaded guilty in federal court on Sept. 21 to an indictment charging him with aggravated sexual abuse, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and aggravated burglary. The U.S. Attorney’s Office states that a grand jury had previously returned an indictment against Mason on January 10, 2019.
According to a plea agreement, Mason acknowledged that on Oct. 16, 2015, he went to the victim’s house in Nenahnezad, New Mexico on the Navajo Nation and turned off the circuit breakers. When the victim stepped outside to check on the circuit breakers, Mason then entered her house and hid until the victim fell asleep.
Around 1 a.m., Mason is said to have gone to the victim’s bed, dragged her to the side of the bed, and sexually assaulted twice. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports Mason punched the victim in the face and then strangled her until she lost conciousness.
The victim suffered serious bodily injury as a result. Mason is in custody and is awaiting sentencing which has yet to be scheduled.
He faces 17 years in prison according to the terms of the plea agreement. The Farmington office of the FBI, the Navajo Nation Criminal Investigations Unit, and the Navajo Nation Police Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Ruiz-Velez is prosecuting the case.
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