LIBERTY COUNTY— The mother of a young girl who was brutally raped by 20 men and boys two years ago expressed relief now that one of the men has been ordered to spend the next 99 years behind bars.
“I would like to see all of them have 99 years,” said Maria Ruiz. “That way they’ll never be able to hurt anyone again.”
The assault in 2010 occurred in an abandoned trailer near Cleveland. The victim was 11-years-old at the time. Now she’s 13.
This week, Eric McGowen, 20, became the first suspect to be tried and convicted. The victim testified during the trial. It’s something she’ll probably have to do again.
“It’s not over yet,” said Ruiz. “It’s just like they’re putting my daughter through that again.”
Ruiz said at night her daughter still cries about what happened. And Ruiz blamed the suspects for taking something her daughter can never get back.
“Her childhood,” she exclaimed.
The victim said she enjoys math and science in school and wants to become either a model or a doctor one day.
Her mom just wants her to remain safe and far from the people who harmed her.
“I just hope none of them will get to her again,” she said.