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Martial arts instructor accused of sexual assault and child abuse at Winnipeg jiu jitsu studio

Manuel Ruiz has been arrested and charged with multiple accounts of sexual assault. Police believe there could be more victims.

FILE PHOTO - Winnipeg Police Service vehicles.
Winnipeg Police Service / Facebook

As reported by CBC News, a Winnipeg based firefighter and jiu jitsu instructor was arrested today and charged with multiple accounts of sexual assault. According to police, at least one of these assaults occurred at his jiu jitsu studio, though they fear there could of been more.

A press release from the Winnipeg Police Service stated that 52-year-old Manuel Vladmir Ruiz had been arrested and charged with the following crimes:

  • Sexual Assault x 2 - Child Abuse
  • Sexual Interference
  • Obtain Sexual Service from Persons Under the Age of 18
  • Forcible Confinement
  • Invitation to Sexual Touching
  • Luring a Child

According to Metro News Toronto, Ruiz is the owner of Combat Jiu-Jitsu, located at 80 Sherbook Street in Winnipeg. That outlet also reported that Ruiz has been a chief instructor at Ronin Ryu School of Martial Arts, also in Winnipeg.

The charges against Ruiz are the result of a “lengthy and ongoing” investigation by the Winnipeg Police Service Counter Exploitation Unit. According to the Police, the charges against Ruiz date back to 2001, when he was 36-years-old.

The police allege that Ruiz was introduced to a ‘youth female’ in 2001 before developing a relationship with that person, leading to incidents of sexual assault occurring at his jiu jitsu studio.

Police state that a second victim, an adult female, was assaulted elsewhere in Winnipeg by Ruiz sometime between December 2005 and December 2006.

The accused is alleged to have assaulted a third victim (another ‘youth female’), whom he met after responding to an online advertisement for escort services in 2015. That victim is still under the age of 18.

Police spokesperson Constable Tammy Skrabek said that Ruiz told all three of the identified victims that he was a member of Winnipeg’s Fire Paramedic Service and the owner of a jiu jitsu studio.

“Some of these victims were brought back to the [studio]. Some of them were offered things like free lessons,” said Skrabek. “So in that respect. It’s believed there may be others who were enticed or offered or lured by him with those two abuses of authority.”

Ruiz is currently in custody. CBC News reported that he has been removed from active duty with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, though remains employed. He is considered innocent of all charges until proven guilty.

Police are asking anyone with further information regarding their investigation into Ruiz to contact investigators at 204-986-3464 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

If you are in the US and are the survivor of a sexual assault, support can be found at the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673). There you will be connected to a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

In Canada, the Assaulted Women’s Helpline is available 24-hours a day and can be reached at 1-866-863-0511.

Similar services for the rest of the world can be found on Hot Peach Pages.

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