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Press Release

Laguna Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Domestic Assault by a Habitual Offender Charge

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 – Anthony Riley, 38, pleaded guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a domestic assault by a habitual offender charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Riley will be sentenced to a federal prison term within the range of 13 to 18 months followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.

Riley, a member and resident of Laguna Pueblo, N.M., was arrested on May 1, 2015, on a criminal complaint charging him with domestic assault of an intimate partner by a habitual offender on March 4, 2015, in Indian Country in Cibola County, N.M.  According to the criminal complaint, Riley was charged as a habitual offender based on his two prior domestic violence convictions in Laguna Tribal Court.         Laguna Tribal Court records reflect that Riley’s prior convictions occurred in 2005 and 2009, and that the victim was also an intimate partner.

Riley was subsequently indicted on the same charge on May 28, 2015.

During today’s proceedings, Riley pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on March 4, 2015, he assaulted the victim, his intimate partner by striking her in the head and face with his fists.  He also acknowledged his prior tribal court convictions.  A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Laguna Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams 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 largely driven 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 July 21, 2015