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Updated Nov 26, 2012 - 6:19 pm

Carrizo man found guilty on sexual abuse charges

PHOENIX -- A federal jury has convicted a Carrizo man on nearly two dozen counts of sexual abuse and kidnapping that occurred on the Fort Apache reservation.

Jefferson Gatewood is set to be sentenced on Feb. 19. Several of the 23 charges were for aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Federal prosecutors said Monday that trial testimony showed that Gatewood sexually abused 15 people over a span of 30 years, though some of the conduct fell outside the statute of limitations.

Gatewood's conviction last week involved nine victims. The 44-year-old had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

An FBI spokesman says the case was unrelated to a series of rapes on the reservation in the mid-2000s.

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