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Press Release

Kewa Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Sexual Abuse Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – Jose Tenorio, 50, an enrolled member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to child sexual abuse charges.  Tenorio’s plea agreement recommends a sentence within the range of 57 to 97 month in prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Tenorio will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Tenorio was arrested on March 21, 2017, on a seven-count indictment alleging kidnapping and abusive sexual contact charges.  The indictment charged Tenorio with kidnapping the first victim, a child under the age of 18 on May 18, 2016; engaging in abusive sexual contact with the first victim, a child under the age of 12, two separate times between Jan. 1, 2015 and Jan 31, 2015, and three separate times on May 18, 2016.  It also charged Tenorio with engaging in abusive sexual contact with the second victim, a child between the age of 12 and 16, two separate times between Aug. 23, 2006 and Aug. 22, 2017.  According to the indictment, Tenorio committed the crimes on Kewa Pueblo in Sandoval County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Tenorio pled guilty to two counts of abusive sexual contact.  In entering the guilty plea, Tenorio admitted that on May 18, 2016, he engaged in sexual contact with the first victim, who was under the age of 12.  Tenorio also admitted engaging in sexual contact with the second victim, a 13-year-old child between Aug. 23, 2006 and Aug. 22, 2006.  Tenorio previously pled guilty to the same charges in tribal court.  He 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.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case 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 May 11, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice