People v. RuizAnnotate this Case
Ruiz was convicted of three counts of sex crimes he committed against his minor daughter and was sentenced to 44 years to life. The court of appeal affirmed the convictions for continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, Penal Code 288.5, and forcible rape of a child under 14, section 261(a)(1)). The trial court did not violate Ruiz’s confrontation clause rights by admitting the minor’s statements to a social worker, whose primary purpose in interviewing the minor was to assess the child’s safety; the minor’s primary purpose in responding was to stop the abuse she was experiencing.
The court reversed the conviction for oral copulation or sexual penetration of a child 10 or younger, section 288.7; the prosecution did not present sufficient evidence to satisfy the corpus delicti rule, which requires, when a defendant makes extrajudicial incriminating statements, there must also be independent evidence of the corpus delicti, the body of the crime itself, in order to convict. Neither the minor’s testimony nor any other evidence independent of Ruiz’s confession indicates that Ruiz engaged in any sex act with the minor before her 11th birthday