Non-Indian Man from Espanola Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Zuni Pueblo Woman
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women
ALBUQUERQUE – Steven Baros, 34, of Espanola, N.M., pled guilty this morning in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to an assault charge. The plea agreement includes a recommendation that Baros be sentenced to a term of imprisonment within the range of 18 to 24 months followed by a period of supervised release to be determined by the court.
Baros was charged by criminal complaint on May 17, 2016, with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and assault with a dangerous weapon. According to the complaint, Baros assaulted his intimate partner, a Zuni Pueblo woman, by punching and kicking her arms and legs, kicking and stomping on her head, throwing her to the ground, and threatening her with a knife. Baros also attempted to set the victim’s house on fire before leaving in the victim’s vehicle.
Baros subsequently was indicted on June 30, 2016, and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, a knife, and assault resulting in serious bodily injury. According to the indictment, Baros committed these crimes on May 5, 2016, on Nambe Pueblo in Santa Fe County, N.M.
During today’s proceedings, Baros pled guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury. In entering the guilty plea, Baros admitted that on May 5, 2016, he assaulted the victim by punching and kicking her arms and legs, pulling her hair, throwing her to the ground, and kicking her when she was on the ground.
Baros remains in federal custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
This case was investigated by the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Marshall is prosecuting the case 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.