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Press Release

Former officer receives 20 years for raping woman while on duty

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 29-year-old Houston and former officer for the Arcola Police Department has been sentenced following his conviction for obstruction of justice and violation of civil rights, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Hector Aaron Ruiz pleaded guilty Jan. 19.

U.S. District Judge Charles Eskridge has now sentenced Ruiz to a total of 20 years in federal prison to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.

“Ruiz was not only a predator but a predator with a badge,” said Hamdani. “During a traffic stop, he raped a young woman he was sworn to serve and to protect, violently breaking a fundamental promise law enforcement makes with any community. The U.S. Attorney’s office is relentless in its pursuit to bring to justice officers who betray their uniform and oaths, committing heinous acts against members of our community. Today’s sentence is the fruit of that pursuit.”

“Hector Ruiz mistakenly believed he was protected by his uniform and badge and operated as a calculating predator who targeted and sexually assaulted his victim during a traffic stop,” said FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge Douglas Williams. “We thank the courageous woman who bravely confronted Mr. Ruiz in court to ensure he faced justice for his crime against her. As law enforcement officers, there’s nothing we despise more than those who disgrace the badge, betray the oath to protect our community and violate the public’s trust.”

On Nov. 16, 2019, Ruiz was on duty and pulled over a 23-year-old woman to conduct a traffic stop in the middle of the night. He told her to “convince” him to not take her to jail, then took her driver’s license and ordered her to follow him. When she tried to drive off, Ruiz pulled her over again and repeated his command. He eventually drove her to a neighborhood, which was under construction at the time, forced her to drink alcohol and coerced her to have sex with him.

The victim came forward the same day and identified Ruiz as her rapist.

The investigation revealed Ruiz had disabled his body microphone and the active recording system in his police cruiser. Authorities also found a text message the victim sent to a friend while Ruiz was making her follow him. In it, she said she thought she was going to die

Forensic analysis further confirmed Ruiz was her rapist.

He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The FBI and Texas Rangers conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharad S. Khandelwal and Sebastian Edwards prosecuted the case.

Updated June 24, 2024

Civil Rights