CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 41-year-old local man has been ordered to federal prison for forcing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery.
Mauricio Ruiz pleaded guilty Jan. 7.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva G. Ramos handed Ruiz a sentence of 360 months, noting the case’s “horrific facts.” At the hearing, the court heard emotionally-moving victim impact statements detailing how Ruiz continuously tormented the minor. Ruiz will serve the rest of his life on supervised release following completion of his prison term during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Ruiz will also be ordered to register as a sex offender. Restitution will be determined at a later date.
At the time of his plea, he admitted to recording illicit videos and images over the course of several years with a minor victim. He raped the minor on multiple occasions and recorded the events. He also threatened to kill members of her family if she ever told anyone.
On Oct. 30, 2020, law enforcement arrested Ruiz at his workplace after learning he was sexually assaulting the girl. The investigation revealed Ruiz possessed more than 34 images and 20 videos of sexual abuse on his work computer.
Ruiz has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Molly K. Smith and Dennis E. Robinson prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources link on that page.