28-year-old Mario Cruz-Zuniga was charged with aggravated rape after a juvenile told her mother and MNPD that a friend of her mom’s significant other had raped her at gunpoint when she wouldn’t hug him and while the other man stood guard.
On August 13th, Metro Nashville Police received a report stating that Mario Cruz-Zuinga had sexually assaulted a juvenile while pointing a gun at her head on July 28th. The juvenile’s mother was in a relationship with an acquaintance of Zuniga. A forensic interview with the juvenile on September 2nd informed police that her mother left the apartment without her usual sitter because she was unavailable. The juvenile told police that when Zuinga came home he asked her for a hug and she said “NO”.
Zuniga immediately grabbed her, held a gun to her head, forced her to take her clothes off, and put his penis inside of her. Her mother’s significant other stepped outside the apartment door and to stand watch and make sure no one would interfere. The young girl told authorities that Zuniga threatened to kill her and her mother if she told anybody what he had done to her. She also told authorities he would mock shoot his own head with his finger to remind her of his threat whenever she was around him.
Her mother said that she had no knowledge of what had happened, but did notice her daughter acting differently. Her mother’s significant other repeatedly told her mother to take her to a clinic. He warned her mother he suspected Zuniga had done something to the girl. When the entire incident was revealed, her mother’s partner told her she would never be able to prove anything and to stop contacting him. Neither man had been seen since.
On September 10th, Mario Cruz-Zuniga was arrested and charged with aggravated rape. He is currently jailed in lieu of a $100,000 bond.