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The long sentence for Alden Harmen Chee, 61, was handed down by U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell, who ruled Chee used force against the girl during a sexual attack that occurred on Utah's Navajo Nation reservation in September 2005. Campbell's ruling also took into account the fact that the girl suffered from several mental and physical conditions, including paralysis on her right side, and that Chee was in a position of trust, said court spokesman Melodie Rydalch in a statement released Friday. Chee even referred to the girl as his patient, Rydalch said.
A jury had convicted Chee, of Hoteville, Ariz., on one count of aggravated sexual abuse within Indian country.
The Navajo Nation member was sentenced to 21 years and one month in prison. Parole is not available in the federal criminal justice system, Rydalch said.
A jury had acquitted Chee in October 2006 on two other counts of aggravated sexual abuse.
- Jason Bergreen