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Man found guilty of sexual contact with a minor

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A man accused of sexually assaulting a girl when she was 8 years old was found guilty on five criminal counts following a trial in New Mexico’s 5th Judicial District Court.

Juan Navarro, 28, of Roswell, was found guilty Wednesday on four counts of criminal sexual contact with a minor, second degree, child under 13, and one count of false imprisonment, intent to commit sexual offense, a day after his trial had begun, court documents state.

Navarro will undergo a 60-day diagnostic evaluation at the New Mexico Department of Corrections before he is sentenced. As of Monday, no date for Navarro’s sentencing was listed in electronic court records.

Sarah Jean Grew, assistant district attorney and prosecutor in the case, said Monday that Navarro could face a total of up to 61 and a half years in prison on the charges. For the rest of his life he will also be required to register as a sex offender.

“I am just glad we got to get justice for the victim and her family in this matter,” Grew said. 

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Ira Shiflett, Navarro’s attorney, said he and his client plan to appeal the verdict.

The defendant, according to court records, was accused of sexually assaulting a girl at her home on four occasions between August and September 2018.

Roswell Police were informed about the incidents in January 2019, after the girl revealed the accusations to her mother.

Five witnesses were called to the stand at the trial, according to Grew. Taking the stand for the prosecution was Roswell Police Department Detective Ashley Wood, the victim and the victim’s mother and sister. Navarro was the sole witness called by the defense.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.

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