News and Press Releases

Laguna Pueblo Man Sentenced to Twenty-Four Months
in Federal Prison for Assault Conviction

Kasero was Prosecuted as Part of a Federal Initiative to Address the
Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

May 2, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE – Laurence Kasero, 38, a member and resident of Laguna Pueblo, N.M., was sentenced this morning in federal court to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his assault conviction.  Kasero also was ordered to pay $29,177.18 in restitution to cover the victim’s medical expenses.  Kasero’s sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Kenneth J. Gonzales, DuWayne W. Honahni, Sr., Special Agent in Charge of District IV of BIA’s Office of Justice Services, and Police Chief Michelle F. Ray of the Pueblo of Laguna Police Department.

Kasero was indicted in Sept 2012, and charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury.  He has been in federal custody since his arrest on Sept. 28, 2012.  On Jan. 31, 2013, Kasero pled guilty to the indictment.  In entering his guilty plea, Kasero admitted assaulting his wife, a member of Acoma Pueblo, at the Route 66 Casino parking lot on Laguna Pueblo on March 20, 2011.  Kasero admitted that, after he caused the victim to fall to the ground, he stomped on her ankles causing her to sustain serious bodily injury.

This case was investigated by the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Pueblo of Laguna Police Department, and was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Adams.

The case was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women, and seeks to train tribal prosecutors in federal law, procedure and investigative techniques to increase the likelihood that every viable violent offense against Native women is prosecuted in either federal court or tribal court, or both.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project was largely driven by input gathered from annual tribal consultations on violence against women, and is another step in the Justice Department's on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination and action on public safety in tribal communities.

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