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Justice News

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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

San Felipe Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Sexual Abuse Charge

ALBUQUERQUE – Vincent Ortiz, 44, a member and resident of San Felipe Pueblo, pleaded guilty this morning to a federal sexual abuse charge.  Under the terms of his plea agreement, Ortiz will be sentenced to 50 months in federal prison followed by a term of supervised release to be determined by the court.  Ortiz will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.

Ortiz was arrested in July 2014, on an indictment charging him with sexual abuse and assault with a dangerous weapon.  According to court filings, on July 5, 2014, Ortiz sexually assaulted a Kewa Pueblo woman of Santo Domingo Pueblo, and assaulted a San Felipe Pueblo man in a residence located in the San Felipe Pueblo in Sandoval County, N.M. 

Today Ortiz entered a guilty plea to Count 1 of the indictment, charging him with sexual abuse, and admitted sexually abusing the victim on July 5, 2014, by engaging in a sexual act with the victim who was incapable or unable to decline participation in the act.  The sexual act consisted of Ortiz touching the victim’s genitals with his hand.

Ortiz has been in federal custody since his arrest and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

This case was investigated by the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Adams. 

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.

Updated January 26, 2015