MCKINLEY COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A 22-year-old man from Tohatchi was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing three minors, the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico announced Thursday.
Byron Yazzie Jr. pled guilty to sexual abuse of a minor, sexual abuse, and aggravated sexual abuse on March 23. He was indicted by a grand jury on June 15, 2022. Yazzie sexually abused three minor victims between August and November 2020, according to court documents.
Yazzie was 19 years old at the time.
Yazzie met the first victim, a minor under the age of sixteen, through Facebook and began a sexual relationship with them sometime in August, according to court documents. On Oct. 20, 2020, Yazzie engaged in a sexual act with a second victim. The victim told Yazzie “no” and they did not want to have sex with him, court documents state. On Nov.5, 2020, Yazzie engaged in a sexual act with a third victim. Yazzie reportedly gave them alcohol, causing them to become intoxicated and incapable of participating in the sexual act.
On Nov. 26, 2020, the second victim told a family member that Yazzie had assaulted them two days before. During an interview with law enforcement, Yazzie admitted to sexually abusing the victim, the news release from the United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico stated.
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When Yazzie is released from prison, he will undergo supervised release for life and must register as a sex offender. The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case.