Zuni Man Sentenced to Prison for Sexual Contact of a Minor

March 28, 2024

ALBUQUERQUE – A federal judge handed down an eight-year prison sentence to a Zuni man after he pleaded guilty to abusive sexual contact in Indian Country. Upon his release from prison, Phillip Edward Lahi, Sr., 72, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Zuni, will be subject to five years of supervised release with standard sex-offender-specific conditions, and must register as a sex offender. Lahi, Sr. must also pay a fine of $83,400.00 to offset the costs associated with his incarceration and supervised release.

There is no parole in the federal system.

According to publicly available court records, between November and December of 2021, Lahi, Sr. engaged in sexual contact with Jane Doe, a child relative under the age of 12.

U.S. Attorney Alexander M.M. Uballez and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, made the announcement today.

The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Zuni Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Brittany DuChaussee prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit Justice.gov/PSC.

# # #

Source: https://www.justice.gov/usao-nm/pr/zuni-man-sentenced-prison-sexual-contact-minor