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Press Release

San Felipe Pueblo Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Sexual Abuse Conviction

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of Federal Initiative to Address the Epidemic Incidence of Violence Against Native Women

ALBUQUERQUE – Vincent Ortiz, 45, a member and resident of San Felipe Pueblo, was sentenced this morning in federal court in Santa Fe, N.M., to 50 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for his sexual abuse conviction.  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 and assaulted a San Felipe Pueblo man in San Felipe Pueblo in Sandoval County, N.M.

On Oct. 23, 2014, Ortiz entered a guilty plea to Count 1 of the indictment, charging him with sexual abuse.  In entering the guilty plea, Ortiz admitted sexually abusing the victim on July 5, 2014, by engaging in a sexual act with the victim who at the time was incapable or unable to decline participation in the act.

This case was investigated by the Southern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services and was 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 February 4, 2016

Indian Country Law and Justice