Prosecutors drop case against woman who was sentenced for killing man as he raped her
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A woman who killed a man while he was raping her has had the case against her dropped by prosecutors after she was sentenced to six years in prison.
23-year-old, Roxana Ruiz, had been found guilty of homicide against her rapist with 'excessive use of legitimate defense'.
A court had ordered her to pay over $16,000 in reparations to the family of her attacker, and she was sentenced to six years behind bars, though the court agreed that she had been raped during the incident which occurred in 2021.
This sparked off protests in Mexico who said the ruling was criminalizing victims of sexual assault, with people holding signs declaring that 'defending my life isn't a crime'.
"This isn’t justice. Remember I am the one who was sexually assaulted by that man, and after he died because I defended myself... because I didn’t want to die by his hands." Ruiz said following the court's verdict.
The outrage in response had left Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador to declare that he would pardon Ruiz, though her legal representatives said accepting a pardon would also have meant admitting she committed a crime to be pardoned for.
The prosecutor's office confirmed in a press release issued on Saturday (20 May), said that Ruiz was actually 'exempt from guilt' and they believed she had acted in self defense for the homicide.
"It means that they’re recognizing her innocence. It’s a recognition that she simply defended herself." Her lawyer Ángel Carrera told the Associated Press, though he said he'd not been notified of the charges being dropped yet.
Ruiz, an indigenous woman and single mother, said that because of the case she had received death threats and was worried for the safety of her family, her four-year-old son particularly so.
During the trial, her defense said Ruiz had been having a drink with a friend and a man she knew when she went home. The man offered to walk her home and asked to stay the night at her place as it was late and he was a long way from his home.
The court heard that they had slept in separate beds and then the man had attacked and raped Ruiz, and that he had threatened to kill her as she fought back.
She killed the man in self defense, with the court claiming that he had been knocked unconscious before being killed. Ruiz's lawyers branded this claim as 'totally false', arguing that it had not been determined that the attacker had been knocked out.
Ruiz then put the man's body in a bag and dragged it out to the street where she was arrested by a police officer.
She told police she had been raped but a forensic exam was never carried out, with Carrera saying the officers said she had probably wanted to have sex with the man and then changed her mind.