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Press Release

Kewa Pueblo Man Sentenced to 18 Years for Child Sexual Abuse Conviction

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 – Emery Calabaza, 50, an enrolled member and resident of Kewa Pueblo, N.M., was sentenced today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to 216 months in prison followed by ten years of supervised release for his conviction on an aggravated sexual abuse of a minor charge.  Calabaza will be required to register as a sex offender after completing his prison sentence.

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 subsequently was 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.

On April 17, 2018, 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. 

This case was investigated by the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and was 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.

Updated September 24, 2018

Indian Country Law and Justice