Man gets prison in 9-year-old rape case

Jorge Ruiz-Hurtado

A man linked through DNA to a nearly decade-old rape in downtown Grand Junction was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday.

Jorge Hurtado-Ruiz, 31, was sentenced by District Judge Richard Gurley to the maximum term allowed under a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office. Hurtado-Ruiz pleaded guilty to a felony count of attempted kidnapping and misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact, according to Chief Deputy District Attorney Mark Hand.

The agreement allowed Hurtado-Ruiz to avoid a potential indeterminate life sentence in prison.

Friday’s sentence resolved a case that was cold for more than seven years until a fax from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation rolled across the desk of a police detective.

An arrest warrant affidavit said the victim, 38 at the time, walked into the Grand Junction Police Department the morning of July 2, 2000, reporting she had been kidnapped and raped hours earlier.

The woman said while she was walking home alone from a party near Broadway and Monument Road, she was grabbed in a bear hug by a Hispanic man in his 20s. She said she was pulled nearly two blocks, into a metal shed behind a home in the 600 block of West Colorado Avenue, where she was raped.

She said the suspect, who was accompanied by three other men, was escorting her to a waiting vehicle when she was able to break free and run. She found her roommate and was taken home.

Grand Junction police turned over evidence from the rape to the CBI for DNA testing in November 2000. Three months later, the CBI developed the DNA profile of a possible suspect, but found no match in a DNA database.

In September 2007, the CBI reported a match with Hurtado-Ruiz, whose DNA had been placed into the database that same year after his conviction on a federal charge of re-entry into the United States as a deported illegal immigrant.

An arrest warrant was issued for the Grand Junction sex assault, but Hurtado-Ruiz had been deported to Mexico a second time in April 2007.

He was arrested in February 2009 in Arizona after allegedly returning illegally to the United States a third time.


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