Mexican Authorities Withdraw Case Against Woman Convicted Of Killing Her Rapist

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Prosecutors in Mexico announced Saturday that the case against a woman convicted of killing her rapist in self-defense has been withdrawn, amid a massive outcry following the verdict.

Charges against 23-year-old Roxana Ruiz have been dropped after a Mexican court ruled May 15 she would serve six years in prison for killing her rapist in self-defense, according to the Associated Press.  Though the court acknowledged she had been raped, Ruiz was convicted of homicide for “excessive use of legitimate defense” stating Ruiz could merely have hit her attacker on the head to deter his advances.

In the 2021 incident, Ruiz had agreed to allow a man she had become acquainted with to spend the night after he walked her home, owing to the late hour, AP reported. Rather than sleep on the bed she provided for him, the man entered Ruiz’s room, raped her and threatened to kill her, prompting Ruiz to defend herself. “I defended myself … because I didn’t want to die by his hands,” Ruiz said, according to AP. (RELATED: Former Philadelphia Homicide Detective Facing Sexual Assault Allegations From Murder Victims’ Families)

Ruiz’s conviction sparked protests throughout the country with multiple feminist groups stating the ruling criminalized survivors of sexual violence while protecting and enabling those who perpetuate those crimes, the AP reported. Moved by the outcry on Ruiz’s behalf, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sought to pardon Ruiz, but that offer was rejected by Ruiz’s lawyers, who argued that a pardon would indicate Ruiz committed a crime, per the outlet.

Saturday evening, the state prosecutor’s office announced that it had reviewed Ruiz’s case, finding that she acted in self-defense and was “exempt from guilt,” AP reported.

“It means that they’re recognizing her innocence,” Ruiz’s lawyer, Angel Carrera, told the outlet. “It’s a recognition that she simply defended herself.”

Carrera added he hopes the decision to withdraw the case will set a precedent for other such cases throughout the country.