Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Thu, June 30

Navajo man indicted for aggravated sexual abuse of a child

SHIPROCK, N.M. — 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, recently announced that Wade Platero has been arraigned on an indictment charging him with aggravated sexual abuse of a child in Indian Country.

Platero, 26, of Red Valley, Arizona, and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, will be released to a halfway house once space is available and will remain on conditions of release pending trial, which has not been scheduled, according to information in a news release.

A federal grand jury indicted Platero on May 10. According to the indictment and other court records, on Dec. 28, 2021, Platero allegedly used force to engage in a sexual act with a child, exact age unknown, and identified as Jane Doe. The alleged assault occurred in Shiprock, New Mexico, on the Navajo Nation.

Shiprock is the next sizable town to Red Valley. The Red Valley area is considered rural.

An indictment is an allegation. If convicted, Platero faces a minimum of 30 years and up to life in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated the case with assistance from the Navajo Nation Police Department. Assistant U. S. Attorney Alexander F. Flores 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, according to the release.

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