Kirtland man gets more than eight years in prison for sex assault

Steve Garrison
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Steven Michael John was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to more than eight years in prison after being convicted in August 2014 of two sexual assault offenses, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

John, 23, of Kirtland, was arrested July 24, 2013, for allegedly trying to rape a 16-year-old relative at the girl's residence in Sanostee, according to the criminal complaint.

The girl told investigators she was taking a shower on July 18, 2013, when she saw John standing in the bathroom. John undressed and forced his way into the shower stall and began groping the girl, the complaint states.

The girl managed to grab her cellphone and call 911, which caused John to flee, according to the complaint.

John was arrested after turning himself in at the Shiprock Police Department. He declined to provide a statement, the complaint states.

John was charged Aug. 14, 2013, with attempted aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact and was found guilty of both offenses after a three-day trial in August 2014, the department press release states.

John was sentenced Tuesday to 100 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, the press release states.

According to a sentencing memorandum filed in April, the recommended imprisonment range was 235 to 293 months.

However, John's defense attorneys point out in the memorandum that a court-appointed psychologist determined it was unlikely Johns would be a repeat sex offender.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.