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Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Eight Charged with Sexually Assaulting UNCONSCIOUS Teen After Video Surfaces
(Left to right, top to bottom) Carlos Vasquez, Malcom Baptista, Jose Vargas, Luis Luna, Erving Keith Colon, Richard Chester, Carlos Chicon, and Luis Cabrera. Police Handout
Joshua Rhett Miller
Eight men are facing charges in Rhode Island for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16-year-old unconscious girl at a party — after the girl’s mother found footage of the attack on Facebook and shared it with detectives, according to a report.
The teen told detectives in Providence she awoke in an apartment on Dec. 20 with vaginal pain and cuts on her thighs, police and court records obtained by the Boston Globe show.
She told police she could remember being naked in a bathroom shower, with roughly 15 men laughing at her while possibly taking photos before she recalled being taken into a bedroom. However, she was unconscious during the alleged assault.
The girl went to police later that day, but she was only able to provide the first names of some of the men, including two who brought her to the party, the Globe reports — hampering the investigation.
But a Facebook video then surfaced in June showing the girl naked and unconscious on a bed as men victimized her and others looked on, the newspaper reports.
“The video was more than enough to see the crime and identify the culprits,” Providence Police Major David Lapatin told the newspaper. “It is sickening to see it. It was tough on the investigators. They did a really good job.”
The girl’s mother was alerted to the video and was the one who shared with detectives, Lapatin told The Post early Wednesday.
“It obviously moved our case right along,” Lapatin said. “That’s when it really picked up steam and we were able to identify many suspects from the video and shortly thereafter, arrests were made.”
Detectives got warrants for eight men who were allegedly in the room with the teen and police arrested seven suspects late last week, the Globe reports.
One suspect, Carlos Vasquez, 19, of Providence, is still being sought as of early Wednesday on charges of assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual assault on a person who was mentally incapacitated and conspiracy, Lapatin said.
One of the men arrested, Richard Tarell Chester, 20, of Seekonk, Massachusetts, has been charged with first-degree sexual assault on a person who was mentally incapacitated and conspiracy.
Chester — who reportedly told the girl to leave the apartment when she woke up — was allegedly seen raping the teen on the video, according to an affidavit in support of a search warrant cited by the Globe.
Chester is being held without bail in Rhode Island. The other seven men charged in the attack have been charged with assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual assault on a person who was mentally incapacitated, and conspiracy.
They were identified by the Globe as Luis Cabrera, 19; Jose Vargas, 19; Erving Keith Colon, 25; Malcom Baptista, 19; and Luis N. Luna, 19, and Carlos Chicon, 20, all of Providence. They have been arraigned, but no pleas were entered, the Globe reports.
Attorneys for Vargas, Luna and Cabrera could be reached for comment Tuesday, while no information for lawyers for Colon, Baptista or Chicon was listed. Chester, meanwhile, was referred to a public defender’s office for legal representation, according to the Globe.
As for the teen, Lapatin said she has recovered from the attack.
“She’s in a safe place and she’s doing OK,” Lapatin told The Post.