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ALBUQUERQUE—On October 12, 2011, in Albuquerque federal court, Ryan Velarde, also known as Ryan Tsosie, 31, pled guilty to an information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse of a child under the age of 16. U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales said that, under his plea agreement, Velarde will be sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment to be followed by a supervised release term of at least five years. Velarde, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Crystal, N.M., also will be required to register as a sex offender. Velarde was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service after his guilty plea, and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
In his plea agreement, Velarde admitted sexually abusing a child on December 5, 2010 in a location within the Navajo Indian Reservation. In particular, Velarde admitted that he intentionally touched the child’s genitals in order to gratify his sexual desire.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jack E. Burkhead.
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