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After backlash, Mexican prosecutors drop case against woman who killed her rapist

Prosecutors in the state of Mexico say they are dropping a case against a woman who killed a man who was raping her.

On Saturday, the prosecutor's office announced that it's withdrawing its case against 23-year-old Roxana Ruiz after determining that she acted in self defense when she used a T-shirt to strangle a man as he attacked and raped her in 2021.

The decision comes just days after a court sentenced Ruiz to six years in prison and ordered her to pay nearly $16,000 in restitution to the family of the man who attacked her. Despite acknowledging that Ruiz had been raped, the court found that her use of legitimate defense was "excessive."

The sentence sparked backlash across Mexico, with feminist groups saying it sends the message that women are not allowed to defend themselves in a country with soaring levels of gender violence and femicide. Mexico’s president had said he would seek to pardon her.

A hearing to formally drop the sentence is now pending.

Kendal Blust was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.