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Press Release

Kewa Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Abuse Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE –Cruz Tenorio, 29, a member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, N.M., pled guilty this morning to a negligent child abuse charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

During today’s plea hearing, Tenorio admitted abusing a three-year-old Indian child in 2011 by negligently tattooing the letter “I” on the child’s arm. Tenorio admitted using rudimentary, homemade instruments, tools and unsterilized materials to tattoo the child, and that he did not take sufficient precautions to prevent possible infection. Tenorio had no formal training in the application of Tattoo body art when he tattooed the child at his home on Kewa Pueblo.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Tenorio will be sentenced to six months of imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the Court. Tenorio also will be required to pay restitution in an amount adequate to ensure that the child victim is able to obtain any psychological and medical services necessary arising from the offense, including the removal of the tattoo. Tenorio also is required to pay restitution to cover the costs of removing the tattoos he applied to another victim in March 2012, when the victim was 15 years old.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, Southern Pueblos Agency, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Niki Tapia-Brito.

Updated January 26, 2015