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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 27, 2014

Mescalero Apache Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Snyder Geronimo III, 23, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation, pleaded this afternoon to sexual abuse of a minor in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M.  Geronimo entered his guilty plea without the benefit of a plea agreement.

Geronimo was arrested in early April 2013, based on a criminal complaint alleging that he knowingly engaged in a sexual act with a child between 12 and 16 years of age.  Geronimo subsequently was indicted and charged with sexually abusing of a minor from July 2012 through Oct. 22, 2012, in locations within the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

According to court filings, the BIA’s Office of Justice Services initiated an investigation into Geronimo on Oct. 23, 2012, after a motorist reported seeing an intoxicated 13-year old female (victim) in the company of an adult man.  During questioning by officers, the victim admitted having engaged in sexual activity with Geronimo on multiple occasions.  On Jan. 30, 2012, Geronimo was arrested on tribal charges arising out of his relationship with the victim.  During questioning, Geronimo acknowledged having had a sexual relationship with the victim since July 2012.  Geronimo also stated that he had been told that the victim was 13 or 14 years old.

Today Geronimo pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that he knowingly engaged in sexual acts with the victim, who was 13 years of age, from July 2012 through Oct. 2012.  Geronimo also admitted that his criminal conduct occurred on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

Geronimo has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.  At sentencing, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

            This case was investigated by the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U .S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.

Updated January 26, 2015