Updated: January 24, 2014 6:12AM
Enrique Ruiz of Aurora stayed free on $250,000 bail while awaiting trial on charges he raped a young relative.
Unable to afford legal fees, Ruiz said he’d put the cash used to get him out of jail toward his defense, according to court records. Ruiz’s attorney, Sam Partida, is now seeking $20,500 from the bond money to pay for legal expenses incurred between March 2012 and Ruiz’s recent trial, a motion filed by Partida states.
Although it’s not uncommon for a judge to grant such a move, Ruiz’s money is already subject to forfeiture after he disappeared shortly before trial.
Ruiz, 85, went missing in late November. Prosecutors believe he fled to Mexico, where he has a home, to avoid trial on sex assault charges filed against him in 2011. Over Partida’s objection, Kane County Judge James Hallock held Ruiz’s trial without him present. A no-bond warrant is outstanding for Ruiz and prosecutors asked Hallock to forfeit money Ruiz previously posted.
Jurors needed two hours on Dec. 11 to convict Ruiz of assaulting the female relative. After the verdict, Hallock also revoked Ruiz’s bond. Hallock scheduled Ruiz’s sentencing, as well as a hearing on the bond forfeiture, for Feb. 13.
Partida, in the motion filed the day of the verdict, said Ruiz “had no other funds available” to cover legal expenses and agreed to apply bond money to attorney’s fees. He described the $20,500 related to pre-trial motions, the trial and preparations for both as “reasonable fees.” With Ruiz missing days before trial, Partida mentioned the possibility of withdrawing from the case as he argued to have the trial postponed.