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Jiujitsu instructor accused of drugging, raping client

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Rafael Freitas (Source: MDC)

A jiujitsu fighter and trainer associated with one of Albuquerque’s most notable fighting gyms is jailed and accused of drugging and raping a client last month.

Rafael Freitas, 37, aka Barata, is charged with criminal sexual penetration in the Nov. 7 incident. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

The female client captured the alleged assault on a security camera in her living room, according to court records.

As of Saturday morning, Freitas was listed under “Instructors” on Jackson Wink MMA Academy’s website. The profile lists Freitas’ achievements and a full biography that says he “became one of the main grappling coaches at Jackson Wink MMA Academy.”

James Hallinan, a spokesman for Jackson Wink, would not discuss details of the gym’s association.

“All I’ve been told is he is not an employee of Jackson Wink Academy and he never has been,” he said. “If the website hasn’t been updated, it’s in the process right now.”

The web page has since been deleted.

Freitas is also associated with the Gracie Barra New Mexico Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, and on his Instagram page, Freitas lists himself as a chief instructor there with recent photos of Freitas and noted local MMA fighter Holly Holm.

Gracie Barra could not be reached for comment.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court:

On Nov. 17, a woman reported the rape to a detective and said it happened at her home during a Nov. 7 session with the trainer. She said she had been taking lessons from Freitas for several years and on that day was having him massage her legs due to recent cramping.

The woman said that Freitas is flirtatious with her and several other women he trains, that she “at times found his behavior inappropriate” and that there was never any romantic relationship between the two.

The woman told police she drank half a glass of wine and then ate breakfast and drank orange juice with Freitas before the session. She said she went to the bathroom and came out to find Freitas had prepared her a second glass of orange juice.

The woman told police she added a shot of whiskey and ginger ale to the drink and about 30 minutes later began “feeling sleepy” as Freitas massaged her legs. She said that she “quickly passed out” and awoke hours later, naked from the waist down, and that Freitas was gone.

The woman told police she messaged Freitas, saying she was embarrassed and asked Freitas about her being naked and he replied, “Yeah, you were fine don’t feel this way at all you’re good.”

She said she remembered she had a security camera installed in her living room and gave a copy of the video to police.

According to a detective’s description, the video shows Freitas “possibly” drop something into the woman’s orange juice, while she was in the bathroom, as his hand makes a “flicking” motion over the glass.

After Freitas begins the massage, the woman’s legs appear to get “heavy” like “dead weight.” The detective says Freitas is seen removing her shorts and appears to force oral sex on her while she is passed out.

The detective says that before leaving the house, Freitas takes the woman’s hand – her arm appearing “limp” – and rubbed it on his genitals. After Freitas left, the woman stayed motionless on the couch for 50 minutes before sitting up.

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