Mescalero Apache Man Sentenced to 78 Months in Prison for Federal Sexual Abuse Conviction
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women
ALBUQUERQUE – Michael Ellis Treas-Baca, 31, an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Nation who resides in Mescalero, N.M., was sentenced this afternoon in federal court in Las Cruces, N.M., to 78 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his conviction on a sexual abuse charge. Treas-Baca will be required to register as a sex offender when he completes his prison sentence.
Treas-Baca was arrested on April 7, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with sexually abusing a Mescalero Apache woman on Sept. 13, 2015, on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in Otero County, N.M.
On Nov. 16, 2016, Treas-Baca pled guilty to a felony information charging him with sexual abuse. In entering the guilty plea, Treas-Baca admitted that on Sept. 13, 2016, he sexually abused the victim while she was unconscious and physically incapable of declining participating in the sexual act.
This case was investigated by the Las Cruces office of the FBI and the Mescalero Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron O. Jordan of the U.S. Attorney’s Las Cruces Branch Office as part of 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 American 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.