POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says his detectives worked around the clock to find and arrest a very dangerous “psychopath” who is accused of sexually assaulting an 81-year-old woman.
Judd announced the arrest of Julio Ruiz, 42, during a news conference on Friday morning.
Judd said that Ruiz lived within walking distance of the victim, who was attacked in her Haines City home on September 29.
“Who knows how long he had been watching her,” said Judd.
Detectives say the victim did not know Ruiz, who lives in Haines City and is married with children. His wife is currently pregnant.
Investigators say Ruiz attacked the victim in her home on Thursday evening Sept. 28 and Friday morning Sept. 29.
“I can’t even imagine the terror, the fear,” said Judd.
The sheriff said that Ruiz, who has an extensive and violent criminal history, targeted her and also stole costume jewelry from her home.
“This is a bad, dangerous person… He’s a psychopath, he’s very dangerous,” said Judd.
Ruiz was identified through DNA left at the scene. Judd’s detectives worked the case around the clock.
“We worked as if this 81-year-old woman was our mother,” he said.
Ruiz was charged with forced Sexual Battery, Kidnapping, Burglary with Battery, Robbery and Tampering with Evidence.
Ruiz has an extensive and violent criminal history that includes crimes in California, Pennsylvania and Florida.
He has been previously arrested on charges of Sexual Battery, Burglary, Cocaine Possession, Firearms possession, Carjacking, Fraud, Forgery, Conspiracy, Receiving Stolen Property, Assault, Aggravated Assault, Terroristic Threats, and Harassment.
Judd said that investigators are checking to see if Ruiz could be a suspect in other sexual assaults in Central Florida.