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Press Release

Dulce man facing charges of child sexual abuse

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Joel Ruiz, 60, of Dulce, New Mexico, made an initial appearance in federal court on March 29 facing two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under 12. Ruiz will remain in custody pending an arraignment and detention hearing scheduled for March 31.

A federal grand jury indicted Ruiz on March 8. According to the two-count indictment, between Feb. 13, 2013, and Feb. 13, 2016, Ruiz, who is non-Indian, allegedly sexually abused an Indian child who was less than 12-years old. Between Jan. 27, 2016, and Jan. 27, 2020, Ruiz allegedly sexually abused another Indian child who also was younger than 12. The abuse in both counts allegedly took place on the Jicarilla Apache Nation Reservation in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico.

An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Ruiz faces a minimum of 30 years and up to life in prison.

The Farmington Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Chelsea N. Van Deventer is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 30, 2022

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Release Number: 22-66