[CW: The following article includes details of an accusation of sexual assault]
Yesterday Jason Bowles, attorney for BJJ coach and former The Ultimate Fighter contestant Rafael de Freitas, forwarded to Bloody Elbow a court document that shows that sexual assault charges against his client have been dropped.
That document states the following:
Comes now the State of New Mexico by and through its Deputy District Attorney, Allysa Gambarella, and enters a nolle prosequi without prejudice in the above captioned case. While probably cause existed at the time of arrest, additional investigation has revealed that, at this time, there exists an insufficient factual basis to meet the State’s burden at trial.
Nolle prosequi means that the state will no longer prosecute. In this case it means that De Freitas’ two charges of criminal sexual penetration in the third degree have been dismissed.
De Freitas was charged with these offences after he was named in a criminal complaint in late 2020. The complaint accused De Freitas of drugging a woman during an at-home BJJ lesson on November 7. The woman handed police home security footage that she said showed De Freitas “possibly” putting something in her drink. The complaint alleged that once the woman had passed out, De Freitas forced oral sex and masturbation on her.
After news of De Freitas’ arrest went public his attorney sent a prepared statement to MMA Fighting proclaiming his innocence. That statement included the following:
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.
De Freitas has a pro MMA record of 5-1-1. In 2013 he briefly appeared on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Rousey vs. Team Tate, where he was eliminated in the preliminary round of the competition. Since retiring from competition, De Freitas has taught BJJ in Albuquerque, NM.
When De Freitas was arrested The Albuquerque Journal reported that he was an employee of Jackson Wink Academy. A spokesperson for Jackson Wink claimed that this was not true. Despite not being a formal employee of Jackson Wink, De Freitas had worked with some of the gym’s top names. Last year De Freitas cornered Holly Holm in her main event fight at UFC Fight Island 4.
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.
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