The federal trust
'No justice, just unfairness'
August 25, 2021
Chapter 2 of four parts
Every day that Christine Benally looks out of the window of her home, she's reminded of how the federal government failed to protect her child. Some 200 yards away sits the house of the man she says sexually assaulted her son.
In November 2005, Benally's then-13-year-old son told her that he had been sexually abused by a relative over several years. What happened next, based on records Benally provided to the Howard Center, was a by-the-book approach to seeking help.
Benally filed a crime report with the Navajo Nation Police Department in Shiprock, New Mexico, and also contacted social services. When she and her son met with police, they provided the names of those involved, including the suspect, the time frame of the incidents and location of the alleged crimes. According to Navajo police records, the suspect "confessed to the allegations."