Former jail guard accused of sexually assaulting inmate multiple times

The defendant admitted to accusations in law enforcement interview

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Kendall Begay, 23, is accused of six felony counts of criminal sexual penetration and two felony counts of bringing contraband into jail,
  • San Juan County Spokesman Devin Neeley said in a statement that Begay is no longer an employee at the county jail but did not share additional details.
  • Begay’s preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Aug. 19 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

FARMINGTON — A former county jail guard has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting an inmate multiple times and being paid to bring in drugs for inmates.

Kendall Begay, 23, of Farmington, is accused of six, second-degree felony counts of criminal sexual penetration and two, fourth-degree felony counts of bringing contraband into jail, according to the criminal complaint.

The defendant did not have legal representation on the morning of Aug. 12. The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.

San Juan County spokesman Devin Neeley said in a statement that Begay is no longer an employee at the county jail but did not share additional details.

“Our staff is always diligent and vigilant to provide for the care and safety of all detainees,” Neeley said in a statement. “We will continue to hold our officers to the highest standard of integrity and to continually review our policies and procedures to fulfill our mission of providing care, custody, and control of the detainee population with respect and human dignity.”

A deputy was dispatched around 6:15 p.m. on Aug. 9 to the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on reports of a man who allegedly sexually assaulted a female inmate, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

The investigators spoke to a male inmate and a female jail guard.

Both told law enforcement they heard Begay tell the female inmate to cover herself with a shawl as another guard approached, according to court documents.

The male inmate stated he saw Begay stick his hand through the food port of the cell while the woman was naked on the other side, the affidavit states.

He added Begay gave him a cigarette and a suboxone strip and asked him to be quiet. Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction or dependence.

The female inmate was not interviewed, as the affidavit stated she was uncooperative. Begay was interviewed by investigators and initially denied the accusations.

The defendant then admitted to six incidents of sexually assaulting the female inmate, according to court documents.

Only two dates were provided for the alleged incidents: July 25 and Aug. 1, according to the affidavit.

Begay also stated he was paid twice to bring in drugs for inmates, including meth and unidentified pills, the court documents state.

He was allegedly paid $150 for the first time and $400 for the second incident, the affidavit states.

Begay’s preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Aug. 19 in Aztec 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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