Mexican prosecutors drop case against woman sentenced to kill man who was raping her

Mexican prosecutors said Saturday they’re dropping a case against a woman who was hit with a six-year prison sentence for killing a man as he raped and assaulted her.

The reversal comes after protests erupted when a court in Mexico State agreed last week that 23-year-old Roxana Ruiz was raped in 2021, but was still guilty of homicide with “excessive use of legitimate defense” and ordered to pay $16,000 to her attacker’s family.

The state Prosecutor’s Office said it made the decision to drop charges after taking into account that Ruiz, who is an Indigenous woman and single mother, is part of a vulnerable group and determined she was “exempt from guilt” after they reviewed the case.

The Prosecutor’s Office said it believed she acted in self-defense.

Before the announcement Saturday, feminist groups loudly protested the ruling as they carried signs in Mexico City that read “Defending my life isn’t a crime.”

Ruiz, mother to a 4-year-old, strangled the man with a t-shirt after spending time with him earlier that day.


A woman activist takes part in a protest in support of Roxana Ruiz Santiago, 21, accused of murder after she killed a man when defending herself from a rape, at the Bordo court in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico State, on August 23, 2021.
A woman activist takes part in a protest in support of Roxana Ruiz Santiago who is accused of murder after she killed a man while defending herself from a rape, at the Bordo court in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico State, on Aug. 23, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

Women activists take part in a protest in support of Roxana Ruiz Santiago, 21, accused of murder after she killed a man when defending herself from a rape, at the Bordo court in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico State, on August 23, 2021.
Women activists taking part in a protest at the Bordo court in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico State, on Aug. 23, 2021.
AFP via Getty Images

He walked her home and then asked to stay the night because his home was so far away and it was too late.

While she slept on a separate bed, she attacked and raped her, her lawyer Angel Carrera said. Ruiz fought back and he threatened to kill her before Ruiz was ultimately able to kill him, Carrera said.

She said she defended herself after being sexually assaulted because she “didn’t want to die by his hands.”

A panicked Ruiz then put the man’s body in a bag and dragged it to the street when she ran into police officers and was arrested. She told authorities she was raped, but a forensic exam was never done by police and officers questioned if she was sexually assaulted, her lawyer said.

“It means that they’re recognizing her innocence,” Carrera told The Associated Press regarding the case being dropped. “It’s a recognition that she simply defended herself.”

With Post wires

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