DENVER—Colorado has just prosecuted its first case under federal law that addresses habitual domestic violence offenders in Indian country, the U.S. Attorney’s office has announced.
Christopher L. Romero, 36, Ignacio, Colo. was sentenced April 4 in U.S. District Court to serve three years in federal prison and three years on supervised release for repeated domestic assaults, the last of which took place last August in the parking lot outside the Southern Ute Police Department.
Romero, who was not identified as a tribal member, struck his ex-wife in the face and officers at the police department arrested him. The assault occurred when Romero delivered his son to his ex-wife, who was to take the child back to her residence in Arizona. He had previously been convicted of domestic violence against her in 1998 and 2005.
“In response to the problem of domestic violence on reservations, Congress changed federal law to address habitual domestic violence offenders in Indian country,” John Walsh, U.S. Attorney, said. “This case is the first in Colorado to enforce that new law, in order to protect domestic violence victims.
“Domestic abusers should take note of the stern sentence handed down by Judge (Marcia S.) Krieger,” he said.
Romero was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver September 15, 2010 and pleaded guilty December 22, 2010. The case was investigated by the Southern Ute Police Department and prosecuted by James Candelaria, Assistant U.S. Attorney.