Polk County deputies arrest rape suspect

An ex-con has been arrested in connection with the sexual assault of an 81-year-old Haines City woman.

Detectives say last week the victim heard dogs barking. When she went to her back door to check out what was going on, Julio Ruiz was there wearing a mask.

He pushed his way in, took away her cell phone, and grabbed her by the throat.

“I can’t even imagine the terror, the fear that lady endured for a protracted period of time in order to stay alive,” said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd.

Judd says Ruiz forced the woman into the bedroom and raped her. Then to try and destroy the evidence, Sheriff Judd says Ruiz made a calculated move.

“He made her get in the bathtub and wash,” said Judd. "He didn’t think she washed well enough, so he washed her again.”

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Ruiz grabbed some costume jewelry and took off. When detectives picked Ruiz up, he denied everything.

“But DNA says, unequivocally, without a doubt, that his DNA was in the 81-year-old woman's bed,” said Judd.

The suspected attacker and victim live right down the street from one another, near Baker and McCallum Avenue East in Haines City.

Judd says the woman was targeted simply because she was available.

Judd says Ruiz's criminal history is 38-pages long. Ruiz is the father of four children and has one on the way.