Juan Mateo Ruiz, 32, was found guilty as charged with one count of Lewd or Lascivious Molestation. The jury returned the verdict shortly before 6 p.m. last night following a two-day trial.
In early 2018, Ruiz met a child in Fort Myers after she left her school bus stop. He started a conversation with the girl, who is in middle school. He continued talking to her for several weeks and then invited the child to his home. He then had sexual relations with her on at least two occasions.
A family member of the girl saw Ruiz kiss the child while they were both standing on a street and told the child’s mother. Her mother contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Their Special Victims Unit investigated the case which at first was difficult as the man had never given the victim his name. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office SVU detectives were able to uncover his name and identity through their investigation and he was arrested.
Ruiz faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 29th. Assistant State Attorney Michael Colombo Jr. prosecuted the case.
State Attorney’s Office