TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler man has been charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl behind a gas station after they left a party, according to an arrest warrant obtained by KETK News.
19-year-old Luis Edgar Ruiz-Munoz was arrested in March for an incident that took place in May 2020, when he was 18.
According to the warrant, Ruiz-Munoz went to a mutual friend’s house with the victim and they left together to go to a gas station. The exact station was not revealed in the documents.
The two began to engage in sexual activity, to which the victim initially consented. The warrant states that Ruiz-Munoz then allegedly “grabbed the back of her head and pushed her… making her…” perform a sex act.
The victim told police that she did not want to go any further, began to cry, and told Ruiz-Munoz she wanted to go home. Ruiz-Munoz allegedly replied, “Not until you finish.”
In an interview with police on March 9, 2021, he denied that he forced the victim and that the act was completely consensual. He also said that he has cut ties with the victim since the incident.
Under Texas law, there is a “Romeo and Juliet” clause that exempts certain teenagers and young adults who engage in consensual sex acts from being arrested. The following four conditions must be met:
- Both parties consent
- Neither is a registered sex offender
- Both parties are at least 14 years old
- There is not more than a three-year gap between the two individuals
For example, if an 18-year-old had consensual sex with a 16-year-old, the Romeo and Juliet law protects the 18-year-old. But a 20-year-old could be prosecuted.
At the time of this incident, police said in the warrant that Ruiz-Munoz was three years and two months older than the victim, which “would exclude the Romeo and Juliet Clause.”
“…Luis Edgar Ruiz-Munoz was 18 years and 3 months while [the victim] was 15 years… Whether [the victim] was a participating party of the sexual conduct, she is not of a legal age to make that decision where Luiz Edgar Ruiz-Munoz is an adult over the age of 18 years.”Excerpt from the arrest warrant for Luis Edgar Ruiz-Munoz
Ruiz-Munoz was released from the Smith County Jail after posting a $30,000 bond and an initial court date has not yet been set. He is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison.