Convicted Rapist Back In Custody After Alleged Probation Violation

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Steven Michael Juan [Photo from Arizona Department of Public Safety]

A member of the Tohono O’odham Nation who was released from federal prison in 2017 for the sexual abuse of a female tribe member several years earlier is back in temporary custody after being accused of violating the conditions of his lifetime supervised probation.

Steven Michael Juan, 34, served five years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for restraining and raping the woman in a residential outbuilding in the tribal village of San Simon in September 2011. Like the victim, Juan is a member of a federally recognized tribe.

Terms of Juan’s plea agreement negotiated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office require him to register as a sex offender and remain under supervised release of the U.S. Probation Service. The plea deal also includes a provision which allows Juan to seek early termination of the lifetime supervised release after 12 years if the U.S. Probation Service believes he has performed well.

That doesn’t seem likely, as probation officials petitioned last month to have Juan’s supervised release revoked on the basis of six alleged violations, including his citation by the Tohono O’Odham Police Department in June for DUI and committing domestic violence. He is also accused of consuming alcohol, which is prohibited under Juan’s probation order.

Juan has denied the allegations, so Magistrate Judge Lynnette Kimmins will hold a July 30 evidentiary hearing at the U.S. District Court in Tucson. Kimmins will decide whether a violation has occurred, and if so, what should happen.

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One option is for the judge to send Juan back to prison. And one thing Kimmins will take into consideration is that this isn’t the first time Juan has been accused of violating probation.

In December 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought to revoke Juan’s probation based on three allegations, including an admission by Juan that he viewed sexually explicit materials in violation of a court order. Juan was allowed to remain out of custody pending resolution of the matter, which came in August 2019 when U.S. District Judge Jennifer Zipps revoked the original supervised release order before imposing a new term of lifetime supervision.

This time Juan has been ordered held in custody pending disposition of the June revocation petition after a federal magistrate judge found Juan “to be a flight risk and a danger to the community and to himself.”