Grand Jury Returns Indictment Against Zuni Man for Aggravated Sexual Abuse Against Children in Indian Country
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office, announced today that a federal grand jury in the District of New Mexico returned an indictment charging Rodney Waikaniwa with multiple counts of aggravated sexual abuse against two victims in Indian Country. Waikaniwa, 51, and an enrolled member of the Zuni Pueblo, will remain in custody pending trial, which has not been scheduled.
According to the indictment, from 2000 to 2013, Waikaniwa allegedly engaged in sexual acts with two children under the age of 12. If convicted, the charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment. The incidents of abuse occurred within the exterior boundaries of the Pueblo of Zuni.
An indictment is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Gallup Resident Agency of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office investigated this case with assistance from the Zuni Police Department. Special Assistant United States Attorney Mark A. Probasco is prosecuting the case.
If you have reason to believe you or your child may be a victim, or if you have information about this ongoing investigation, please call the FBI at (505) 889-1300 or submit their tips online at tips.fbi.gov.
# # #
Updated May 25, 2023
Press Release Number: 23-113
Indian Country Law and Justice