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Press Release

Kewa Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charge

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

ALBUQUERQUE – Lester Nieto, 28, a member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, pleaded guilty this morning to a child sexual abuse charge under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

Nieto was arrested by the BIA on March 5, 2013, based on an indictment charging him with sexual abuse of a minor or ward between the ages of 12 and 16 years.  According to the indictment, Nieto committed the offense on Jan. 1, 2012, in a location within Kewa Pueblo.  During today’s hearing, Nieto pleaded guilty to the indictment and admitting engaging in a sexual act with a child who had attained the age of 12 years but had not attained the age of 16 years. 

[Nieto was remanded into federal custody after entering his guilty plea and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.]  At sentencing, Nieto faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release.  He will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

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 Kyle T. Nayback as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated January 26, 2015