(The Center Square) – An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who sexually abused a child will remain free as he awaits his prison sentencing.
Tony Jake Jr., 75, of Pine Hill, New Mexico pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact this week, Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced.
His sentencing date has not yet been set.
Court records said that a child, referred to as “Jane Doe” in the case, told her mother that she was sexually assaulted during a church service. The child was under 12 years old and made the allegation on May 28, 2022.
Special FBI Agents responded and started interviewing people who saw the girl that day. One witness said they saw she was not with the other children and that when they went to look for her, they found her visibly upset while with Jake.
In his plea deal, Jake admitted to approaching Jane Doe and touching her inappropriately. He also said that she was upset by his actions.
Jake faces up to life in prison at sentencing; if he receives less than a life sentence, he will also receive five years of supervised release.
The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with help from the Navajo Nation Department of Investigation and the Department of Criminal Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly Bell is the prosecutor on the case.