Mescalero Apache Man Sentenced to Eight and a Half Years in
Federal Prison for Aggravated Sexual Abuse Conviction
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address
the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women
ALBUQUERQUE – Elroy Duffy, 51, was sentenced yesterday afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 103 months in prison for his aggravated sexual abuse conviction. Duffy will be on supervised release for five years after he completes his prison sentence. Duffy also will be required to register as a sex offender. The sentence was announced by Acting 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.
Duffy, a member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., was arrested in March 2013, on a criminal complaint charging him with forcing his girlfriend to engage in a sexual act on Oct. 14, 2012, in a location within the Mescalero Apache Reservation. Duffy has been in federal custody since his arrest.
On Aug. 21, 2013, Duffy entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse by force. In his plea agreement, Duffy admitted forcing the victim to engage in a sexual act on Oct. 14, 2012.
Prior to his arrest on the federal complaint, Duffy was arrested on related tribal charges on Oct. 18, 2012. Duffy subsequently entered a no contest plea to the tribal charges and was sentenced to 180 days in jail. He was transferred to federal custody after completing his tribal sentence.
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.