[CW: The following article details a report of sexual assault]
Last week, TUF 18 cast member and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach Rafael de Freitas was arrested and charged with third-degree sexual penetration. His accuser was one of his students. That individual said the trainer drugged and sexually abused her during a private class in her home in early November.
The entire incident was apparently caught on video through the unnamed woman’s security camera. According to detectives who reviewed the said footage, de Freitas was seen dropping something in the alleged victim’s drink while she stepped out to use the bathroom.
Officials who reviewed the tape also claimed it showed de Freitas manipulating the woman’s legs, before forcing oral sex on her.
However, de Freitas’ attorney Jason Bowles has claimed clip proves his client’s innocence.
Bowles sent a prepared statement to MMA Fighting.
“We represent Rafael de Freitas Barata, a well-loved and very accomplished jujitsu practitioner. To date, the public has received one-sided reports of sexual assault based on the word of the alleged victim and a video, which no news agency or the public has seen.
We have now watched the video. Let us be clear: these charges are false. The video proves Mr. de Freitas’ innocence of a crime. We will present evidence that she invited Mr. de Freitas over that morning in texts, poured alcohol and had liquid THC, and her actions and responses during the video reflect a completely consensual encounter. Her statements to police also show that she had had motives to bring these false charges.
Mr. de Freitas willingly admits and is remorseful about making a terrible error in his marriage and towards his wife. But he is absolutely innocent of any criminal sexual assault and his and his family’s name and reputation have been falsely maligned.
We are asking everyone to reserve judgment until all of the evidence is presented in Court.
If convicted, de Freitas could serve up to three years in prison and pay up to $5,000 in fines.
Survivors of sexual assault can find support via the following organizations:
US – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)’s National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). RAINN also has an online chat service.
Love is Respect, 1-866-331-9474. They can also be reached via online chat or by texting LOVEIS to 22522.
End Rape on Campus (EROC), 1-424-777-EROC (3762).
Canada – Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime, 1-877-232-2610.
UK – UK Says No More.
Rest of the World – International Rape Crisis Hotlines.
About the author