News and Press Releases

Laguna Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to
Assaulting Te-Moak Tribe Woman

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address
the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Kyle S. Swimmer, 21, an enrolled member and resident of Laguna Pueblo, pleaded guilty this morning to a misdemeanor assault charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Swimmer was arrested on May 27, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging him with assault by strangulation.  On June 11, 2014, Swimmer was indicted and charged with assaulting his intimate partner by strangulation or suffocating.  According to court filings, Swimmer assaulted his girlfriend, an enrolled member of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians, on May 14, 2014, in Laguna, N.M., in Cibola County, N.M., by pushing her against a wall and choking her.

During today’s proceedings, Swimmer pled guilty to an information charging him with assault by striking, beating or wounding the victim on May 14, 2014.  Swimmer admitted to pushing the victim against the wall, placing his hands on her in an unlawful manner and throwing her down on the couch.

At sentencing, Swimmer faces a maximum penalty of 12 months in prison.  His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Police Department with assistance from the Pueblo of Laguna Fire and Rescue Department and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams.  It was brought pursuant to the Tribal Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (Tribal SAUSA) Pilot Project in the District of New Mexico which is sponsored by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women under a grant administered by the Pueblo of Laguna.  The Tribal SAUSA Pilot Project 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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