News - McHenry County

McHenry man admits to sex act with girl

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry man admitted to a sex act with a young girl and will remain free on bond until his sentencing.

Jose L. Ruiz, 48, was set to stand trial Monday. If convicted, he faced between six and 37 years in prison. Instead, he entered a blind guilty plea, meaning there was no agreement between prosecutors and his attorneys, Brian Erwin and Denise Ambroziak, on a possible sentence.

Prosecutors had offered him 17 years. His guilty plea was accepted by McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather. According to Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Zalud, if the case proceeded to trial, evidence would show that in April 2013, Ruiz had sex with the girl who was 9 years old at the time. The girl was not related, but otherwise known to Ruiz. She disclosed the sex act in a note to her mother.

The note, according to Zalud, read: “Dear mommy, [Ruiz] had sex with me. Don’t send him to jail, don’t make me talk to anybody. Just talk to him about it. Please, please, please.”

A doctor would testify that the girl had suspicious vaginal injuries that are consistent with sexual abuse, Zalud said. A remaining sexual abuse charge against Ruiz was dropped in exchange for his guilty plea, bringing the maximum possible prison term to 30 years, followed by at least three years of parole. Any prison sentence will be served at 85 percent.

“This is a difficult decision for him to make, and he makes it willingly and fully aware of the ramifications,” Ambroziak said.

A sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 30. Prather allowed Ruiz to stay out on bond until that time.