APPEAL DISMISSED: The Attorney-General has lost an appeal against the sentence of Rogelio Acosta Ruiz. Ruiz was last year convicted of raping a young girl in Mackay in 2017.
APPEAL DISMISSED: The Attorney-General has lost an appeal against the sentence of Rogelio Acosta Ruiz. Ruiz was last year convicted of raping a young girl in Mackay in 2017.

‘Gutted’: Family’s anguish as child rapist is set free

THE family of a child rape victim say they are "gutted" after an appeal of the rapist's sentence was thrown out.

Queensland's Court of Appeal on Wednesday dismissed the Attorney-General's application to appeal the sentence of Mackay child predator Rogelio Acosta Ruiz.

In November, Ruiz was jailed for three years, suspended after 12 months, for raping an eight-year-old in 2017.

With time already served, he walked free in February.

Prosecutor Carl Heaton QC argued the need to protect the community was given "insufficient, if any weight" in the sentencing.

He said the circumstances of Ruiz's offending warranted supervision upon his release.

"At the very least, probation should have been attached to one of the offences," Mr Heaton told the court.

"There was no articulation, no analysis, no recognition of that need that arises in a case of serious sexual offending such as this."

The appeal judges said there were no facts to justify imposing any orders as Ruiz had shown genuine remorse for his actions.

"An offender's remorse may be evidence from which one can infer a reduced risk of reoffending," Court of Appeal president Walter Sofronoff said.

"Therefore, remorse can reduce the importance of community protection."

The family's lawyer, Katherine Cora, said it was "heartbreaking" the sentence was not increased.

"Ruiz has got a slap on the wrist and he's back to his normal life," Ms Cora said.

"There was a glimmer of hope but that was just taken away." - NewsRegional

For 24-hour sexual violence support, call the national hotline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.


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