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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Mexico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 6, 2017

Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Sexual Abuse Charge

Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Peter Calvert-Cata, 21, a member and resident of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, N.M., pled guilty today in federal court in Albuquerque, N.M., to a sexual assault charge. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Calvert-Cata will be sentenced to four years of imprisonment followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the Court. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.

 

Calvert-Cata was arrested on Nov. 18, 2016, on a criminal complaint charging him with aggravated sexual abuse. According to the criminal complaint, Calvert-Cata sexually assaulted a 17-year-old female on Aug. 13, 2016, in Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. At the time of the sexual assault, the victim, a member of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, was fading in and out of consciousness because she was intoxicated by alcohol and marijuana. Calvert-Cata subsequently was indicted on Dec. 7, 2016, and charged with two counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

 

During today’s change of plea hearing, Calvert-Cata entered a guilty plea to a felony information charging him with sexual assault. In his plea agreement, Calvert-Cata admitted that he attempted to engage in a sexual act with the victim on Aug. 13, 2016, at a time when she was highly intoxicated by alcohol and marijuana. Calvert-Cata also acknowledged providing the marijuana consumed by the victim.

 

Calvert-Cata remains in custody pending a sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

 

This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the FBI, the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services, the Ohkay Owingeh Tribal Police Department, and the New Mexico State Police.

 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lucy H. Solimon 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.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Updated March 7, 2017