News and Press Releases

Non-Indian Man Sentenced to Fifteen Years in Federal Prison
for Sexually Abusing an Indian Child on Laguna Pueblo Land

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Ray Looney, 39, a non-Indian man who resides in the Pueblo of Laguna, N.M., was sentenced this morning to 15 years in federal prison for his child sexual abuse conviction.  Looney will be on supervised release for 20 years after completing his prison sentence.  He also will be required to register as a sex offender. 

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, DuWayne W. Honahni, Sr., Special Agent in Charge of District IV of BIA’s Office of Justice Services, and Acting Chief Brian Carr of the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Police Department.

Looney, who is originally from Portales, N.M., was arrested on June 28, 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he forced an Indian child between the age of 12 and 16 years to engage in sexual acts.  According to the complaint, Looney committed these criminal acts within the Pueblo of Laguna in Cibola County, N.M.

On March 26, 2014, Looney entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with sexual abuse of a minor.  In his plea agreement, Looney admitted to engaging in sexual acts with the child victim from March 2013 to June 2013.  Looney also admitted knowing that the child victim was under 16 years of age when he violated the child.

Looney has been in federal custody since his arrest.  He remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. 

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

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/.

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