Ramah Navajo man, Tony Jake charged with abusive sexual contact
(STL.News) Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that Tony Jake, Jr., was charged in a criminal complaint with abusive sexual contact with a minor. Jake, 74, of Ramah, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Ramah Navajo Nation, made an initial appearance in federal court on June 3 and will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for June 7.
According to the complaint, on May 28, Jake allegedly engaged in sexual contact with a seven-year-old victim during a service at the Yahweh Church in Ramah. The alleged offense took place on the Ramah Navajo Reservation, and the victim is an enrolled member of the Ramah Navajo Nation.
A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Jake faces up to life in prison.
The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Ramah Navajo Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Chelsea N. Van Deventer is prosecuting 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.