Missing Aurora man, 85, gets 45 years for molesting relative - FOX 13 News

Missing Aurora man, 85, gets 45 years for molesting young relative

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Enrique Ruiz. (Photo from Kane County Sheriff's office) Enrique Ruiz. (Photo from Kane County Sheriff's office)
ST. CHARLES, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A west suburban man, who disappeared shortly before his trial for sexually assaulting a young relative, was sentenced in absentia to 45 years in prison Thursday.

Enrique Ruiz, 85, was convicted Dec. 11, 2013, of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a statement from the Kane County State's Attorney's office said.

Ruiz sexually assaulted a female relative younger than 13 on multiple occasions between 2004 and 2010, prosecutors said.

Judge James Hallock sentenced him to 45 years in prison, prosecutors said. If he is ever found, Ruiz must also register for life as a sex offender.

During the trial, Assistant State's Attorney Lori Schmidt said the girl wrote a letter to her mother saying Ruiz, who she referred to using the Spanish term "abuelito"— or grandfather—had touched her inappropriately.

No one took action until the girl, in sixth grade at the time, told a school counselor what happened. That prompted an investigation by the Kane County Child Advocacy Center.

On the witness stand, the girl cried and struggled to catch her breath during questioning by Schmidt. She spoke of three times Ruiz assaulted her inside his home, twice in a bedroom and once in the living room, while other young relatives were outside playing, prosecutors said.

She said one time she kicked Ruiz in the face to fend him off, but he laughed when she did so. She described Ruiz placing his hand over her mouth during one assault and telling her not to talk to anyone about what happened.

Ruiz, formerly of the 1-99 block of North Farnsworth Avenue in Aurora, disappeared Nov. 24, 2013, after telling his family he was going for a walk in a forest preserve, the state's attorney's office said.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges after his arrest in 2011, and was freed on after paying $2,500 or 10 percent of his bond, authorities said. His wife testified his Mexican passport is missing, and his family owns a home in Mexico City.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest, and anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911.

Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon praised the victim for her "tremendous courage" in coming forward.

"I hope the end to this chapter in her life means she can move forward believing justice has prevailed and also believing that she has a bright and productive future," McMahon said in the statement.

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