ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced today that Darwin Neal Kinzhuma made an initial appearance in federal court on a criminal complaint charging him with sexual abuse in Indian Country and sexual abuse by a repeat offender. Kinzhuma, 57, of Mescalero, New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, will remain in custody pending a preliminary and detention hearing scheduled for Sept. 16.
According to the complaint, on May 10, Kinzhuma allegedly gave a ride to the victim, identified as Jane Doe, on U.S. Highway 70. After stopping in Tularosa, New Mexico, to purchase alcohol, Kinzhuma took the victim to his home in Mescalero. Jane Doe, who is also an enrolled member of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, allegedly lost consciousness after drinking some of the alcohol provided by Kinzhuma. When the victim awoke, Kinzhuma allegedly was sexually assaulting her. The victim was unable to leave the home because she cannot see at night and Kinzhuma allegedly had taken the cane she needs to walk.
Kinzhuma is charged as a repeat offender due to a previous conviction for sexual abuse. On Dec. 21, 2017, Kinzhuma pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual abuse, admitting that on June 28, 2015, he sexually abused a victim on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. On May 22, 2017, Kinzhuma was sentenced to six years and nine months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
A complaint is only an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, Kinzhuma faces up to life in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. Additionally, because the alleged offense was committed while Kinzhuma was on supervised release for a prior sexual assault, he faces up to five years in prison and up to a lifetime term of supervised release for a violation of the previously imposed supervised release.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Matilda McCarthy Villalobos is prosecuting the case.
# # #