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Press Release

Isleta Pueblo Man Sentenced for Assaulting an Indian Woman and a Federal Officer

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Jonathan Abeita, 24, an enrolled member of the Isleta Pueblo who resides in Albuquerque, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 17 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction on assault charges, including an assault on a federal officer charge.


Abeita was arrested on March 8, 2017, on an indictment charging him with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and assault on a federal officer. According to the indictment, Abeita committed the crimes on Aug. 13, 2016, on Isleta Pueblo in Valencia County, N.M.


On May 19, 2017, Abeita pled guilty to the indictment. In his plea agreement, Abeita admitted that on Aug. 13, 2016, he assaulted one victim, an Indian woman, by threatening her and punching her, causing her bottom teeth to become loose. Abeita also admitted that when tribal police officers responded to a call from the victim, he assaulted a tribal police officer who was commissioned as a Special Federal Officer by the BIA with a hatchet.


This case was investigated by the Isleta Pueblo Tribal Police Department and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucy B. Solimon as part of 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 American 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.

Updated August 16, 2017

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime