News and Press Releases

Laguna Pueblo Man Sentenced to Federal
Prison for Assaulting his Intimate Partner

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2014

ALBUQUERQUE – Miles J. Riley, 25, was sentenced this afternoon to 32 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction for domestic assault by a habitual offender, announced U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez and DuWayne W. Honahni, Sr., Special Agent in Charge of District IV of BIA’s Office of Justice Services.

Riley, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna who resides in Mesita, N.M., was arrested on Nov. 29, 2013, based on a criminal complaint alleging that he assaulted his intimate partner, a Laguna Pueblo woman, by striking her on the face on Aug. 25, 2013.  Riley subsequently was indicted and charged with domestic assault by a habitual offender based on his two prior domestic violence convictions in the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Court.

On Feb. 3, 2014, Riley pled guilty to the indictment and admitted assaulting the victim, his intimate partner, by striking her in the face multiple times with a closed fist on Aug. 25, 2013, in a location within the Pueblo of Laguna.  Court records reflect that Riley previously was convicted on domestic violence charges before the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Court in 2012 and 2013.

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

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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