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The defendants have been released from the county jail

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FARMINGTON — An Arizona man and a Newcomb man are accused of raping a woman who was unconscious behind a Farmington dollar store earlier this month.

Irving Begay, 34, of Newcomb, and Julius Bitsui, 59, of Ganado, Arizona, are each accused of a third-degree felony count of criminal sexual penetration, according to the criminal complaints.

Angela Swenson, the attorney for Begay and Bitsui, did not respond to a request for comment on March 16.

Farmington Police Department officers were dispatched around 3:06 p.m. on March 7 to the Dollar Tree at 501 E. Broadway Ave. to investigate a report of a sexual assault in progress, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

The man who reported the alleged incident told dispatch he witnessed two men later identified as Begay and Bitsui raping a woman behind the building.

An officer who responded to the scene contacted the woman. The officer stated it took about a minute for the woman to wake up.

The woman told police, "I think they raped me." She stated she was unconscious during the incident.

The two defendants were detained at the scene and transported to the Farmington Police Department for further questioning. Begay was interviewed first.

Begay said he was drunk with the woman earlier in the day. They had separated that morning and met up later that day.

Begay told police the woman was passed out behind the Dollar Tree and he raped her.

Bitsui told police he and Begay found the woman passed out.

He added that Begay raped her but claimed he had consensual sex with the woman and did not rape her.

Both defendants were booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on the night of March 7.

They were both released on their own recognizance from the county jail on the afternoon of March 9, according to jail records.

Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for the morning of March 18 in Farmington Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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