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Justice News

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

Friday, February 5, 2016

San Ildefonso Pueblo Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Sexual Abuse Charge

Prosecution Brought Under Project Safe Childhood

ALBUQUERQUE – Juan Pena, 72, an enrolled member of the San Ildefonso Pueblo who resides in Santa Fe, N.M., pleaded guilty today in federal court to a child sexual abuse charge.  The guilty plea was entered without the benefit of a plea agreement. 

Pena was arrested on Aug. 19, 2015, on an indictment charging him with abusive sexual contact of a minor between the ages of 12 and 16 on May 25, 2015, in Indian Country in Santa Fe County, N.M.

During today’s proceedings, Pena pled guilty to the indictment and admitted that on May 25, 2015, he engaged in sexual contact with the victim who was between the ages of 12 and 16 with intent to abuse, humiliate, harass and degrade the victim.

Pena was remanded into federal custody after entering his guilty plea and will be detained pending his sentencing hearing which has yet to be scheduled.  Pena faces a maximum statutory penalty of two years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender.

This case was investigated by the Santa Fe office of the FBI and the Northern Pueblos Agency of the BIA’s Office of Justice Services. 

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Raquel Ruiz-Velez as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Indian Country Law and Justice
Project Safe Childhood
Updated February 5, 2016