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Account in child’s diary leads to sex assault conviction

Jury finds child’s testimony truthful convicts her assailant
Edison Begay, 37, of Farmington was convicted of child sexual assault by a jury on June 5 in the 11th Judicial District Court.

A child’s diary became a mother’s nightmare when she learned from it that her 13-year-old daughter had been raped.

That same diary helped the San Juan County District Attorney’s Office secure a conviction against Edison Begay in a jury trial that ended June 5.

Begay, 37, of Farmington, was charged with a first-degree felony criminal sexual penetration of minor by force and a third-degree felony intimidation of a witness.

The charges were in connection to a 2022 incident in which Begay raped a 13-year-old at a Farmington home, where she was watching her nephew.

Begay was the neighbor to the residence in the 1400 block of Meadowlark Drive, and the girl’s brother told police Begay came over to the home often and they would drink together, according to the affidavit for arrest warrant.

The girl wrote in the diary that she walked into a room in the house and found Begay sitting on the bed. He told her to sit down and then moved her to the floor and told her “to stay calm,” while he got on top of the child and “slowly started to take off my pants,” the affidavit states.

The child detailed the rape and wrote that she cried and “tried to scream” for help, but “he told me to shut up,” and “he held both of his hands over my face,” the affidavit states.

The girl also wrote that Begay told her that if she told anyone, “he would hurt” her nephew, the affidavit states.

When the girl’s mother found the diary and read these things, she contacted Farmington Police, and an investigation into Begay was opened.

The child underwent a safe house interview and was questioned by police. She told them that “when she was being assaulted by Edison he smelled like he was under the influence of alcohol,” the affidavit states.

When police questioned Begay he denied anything had happened saying “he would never do such a thing,” and he did provide a DNA sample, according to the affidavit for arrest warrant.

In the trial, the girl stated the journal entry was written about three months after the assault and that “it was true,” and she wrote it because “I just needed to get it off my chest,” court records state.

The child’s parents testified about how her personality changed. “She became angry,” the mother said, adding there was a “darkness inside” her daughter, and that was “uncharacteristic.”

The child’s father said she “wasn’t very social,” would lock herself in her room and “wouldn’t eat, just kept away from everybody,” court records state.

Police also testified in court detailing their investigation.

Begay did not testify in his defense.

The jury found him guilty on both counts, and he will be sentenced June 25 at the 11th Judicial District Courthouse in Aztec.