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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Kewa Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Abuse Charge

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Emery Calabaza, 59, an enrolled member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to an aggravated sexual abuse of a minor charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Calabaza will be sentenced within the range of 180 to 240 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Calabaza also will be required to register as a sex offender.

Calabaza was arrested in June 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with sexually abusing a Kewa Pueblo child under the age of 12 years on May 30, 2017.  Calabaza was subsequently indicted on June 28, 2017.  The indictment charged Calabaza with sexually abusing a minor under the age of 12 years on two occasions between May 1, 2017 and June 6, 2017, on Kewa Pueblo in Sandoval County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Calabaza pled guilty to a felony information charging him with aggravated sexual abuse.  In entering the guilty plea, Calabaza admitted that between May 1, 2017 and June 6, 2017, he sexually abused the victim, who was under the age of 16-years-old.  Calabaza remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Spindle 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 driven largely 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.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated April 17, 2018