News and Press Releases

Mescalero Apache Man Sentenced to Federal
Prison for Sexual Abuse Conviction

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

July 9, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – James Darius Caje, 21, was sentenced today in Las Cruces federal court to 56 months and 25 days in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on a sexual abuse charge.  Caje will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Caje, a member and resident of the Mescalero Apache Nation, was arrested in March 2013, on a criminal complaint alleging that he sexually abused a Mescalero Apache woman on July 27, 2012, at a location within the Mescalero Apache Reservation.  Caje was in tribal custody on related tribal charges when he was arrested.

In Aug. 2013, Caje was indicted and charged with sexually abusing a victim who was incapable of declining to participate in a sexual act.  On Sept. 9, 2014, Caje pled guilty to the indictment and admitted sexually abusing the victim while she was lapsing in and out of consciousness.

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 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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