Mescalero Apache Man Sentenced to Thirty-Three Months for Federal Child Sexual Abuse Conviction
ALBUQUERQUE – Snyder Geronimo III, 23, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation, was sentenced today in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 33 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his child sexual abuse conviction. Geronimo will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
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.
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.
On Jan. 27, 2014, 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.
This case was investigated by the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U .S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.