Sumter man charged with sex crime with 4-year-old

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A Sumter man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 4-year-old boy.

Danilo B. Ruiz, 23, of 1230 S. Pike Road E., Lot #87, has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor under the age of 11.

The child was reportedly taken to Tuomey Regional Medical Center for a medical exam on Wednesday after he complained of being sexually assaulted in the rectum the day before.

Investigators with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office responded to speak with the boy's parents. An initial examination did not show physical signs of abuse, and the investigation was initially hampered by difficulty communicating with the victim's family, who reportedly don't speak English as a first language.

Ruiz was arrested about 8 p.m. Wednesday and charged with simple assault and battery, but that charge was upgraded to criminal sexual conduct on Thursday when investigators were able to conduct a "forensic interview" with the victim.

"It's not a physical exam. It's a very detailed interview with the child," said Lt. Robert Burnish with the sheriff's investigations division. "After the interview, it was decided the assault charge would be dismissed, and he would be arrested (for sexual assault)."

Ruiz and the victim both reportedly live in the same mobile home park, but there is no family relation between the two. The accused is being held pending bond at Sumter-Lee Regional Detention Center.