Laguna Pueblo Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Misdemeanor Assault Charge
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women
ALBUQUERQUE – Allie P. Sarracino, 26, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo who resides in Casa Blanca, N.M., pleaded guilty this morning in Albuquerque, N.M., to a misdemeanor information charging her with assaulting an Indian woman.
Sarracino was arrested on Dec. 8, 2014, on a criminal complaint charging her with assaulting an intimate partner by strangulation. According to the complaint, on Dec. 4, 2014, the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Police Department responded to a report of assault on Laguna Pueblo in Cibola County, N.M. The complaint alleged that Sarracino assaulted the victim, a Laguna woman, by striking her in the face and strangling her. Sarracino was subsequently indicted on Jan. 8, 2015, and charged with assaulting an intimate partner by strangulation.
During today’s proceedings, Sarracino entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor information and admitted assaulting the victim by striking her with her hands on the victims face. Sarracino also admitted holding the victim down by pressing on her shoulders and neck area. As a result of the assault, the victim suffered bruises, contusions and other wounds on her face and head.
At sentencing, Sarracino faces a statutory maximum penalty of 12 months in federal prison and up to one year of supervised release. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Laguna/Acoma Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Mott is prosecuting the case.
The case was brought 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.