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Press Release

Acoma Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Plea Agreement Requires Imposition of Ten to Fifteen Year Prison Sentence; Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – Emery Vallo, Sr, 60, a member and resident of Acoma, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a felony information charging him with abusive sexual contact of a minor child.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Vallo will be sentenced within the range of ten to 15 years in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Vallo will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.

Vallo was arrested on Oct. 23, 2015, on an indictment alleging that he sexually abused the child victim from May 1, 2002 through Sept. 1, 2003, and attempted to sexually abuse the child victim from March 1, 2007 through Sept. 1 2007.  The charges alleged in the indictment took place in Indian Country in Cibola County, N.M.

During today’s change of plea hearing, Vallo entered a guilty plea to an aggravated sexual abuse charge.  Vallo admitted sexually molesting a child on two separate occasions from May 1, 2002 through Sept.1, 2003, and attempting to sexually molest the same child from March 1, 2007 to Sept. 1, 2007.

In addition to his guilty plea, Vallo also admitted to sexually molesting a five year old child approximately 40 years ago when he was 18 years old.  Vallo admitted that although the statute of limitations has since lapsed in this case, his admission is meant to be an acknowledgement to help provide solace to the victim who is still impacted by the incident.

Vallo has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest and will remain detained pending his sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

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

Updated February 4, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice