Zuni man pleads guilty to federal child sex assault offense
United States Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales announced that, this afternoon, Jones Neha, 47, an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Zuni, entered a guilty plea to an information charging him with abusive sexual contact of a child under twelve years of age before United States Magistrate Judge Alan C. Torgerson pursuant to a plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office. At sentencing, Neha faces a maximum of life imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a mandatory term of at least five years supervised release. Neha also will be required to register as a sex offender. Neha was remanded into the custody of the United States Marshals Service pending sentencing, which has yet to be scheduled.
In his plea agreement, Neha admitted that, in November 2006, he sexually assaulted a female child while the child was raking leaves. Specifically, Neha stated that he touched the child over her clothing on her buttocks and chest area. Neha admitted that he undertook this unlawful conduct with the intention of abusing, humiliating, harassing and degrading the child and gratifying his own sexual desires. Neha also admitted that his unlawful conduct occurred within the boundaries of the Pueblo of Zuni.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pueblo of Zuni Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer M. Rozzoni.