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Rape case dismissed against ABQ jiujitsu trainer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Prosecutors on Friday dropped rape charges against an Albuquerque jiujitsu trainer in a 2020 case.

The 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office entered a nolle prosequi in the case against Rafael de Freitas, 37.

“While probable 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,” court records say.

De Freitas, known as Barata in the mixed martial arts world, was charged in December with criminal sexual penetration in a Nov. 7 incident.

A client of de Freitas’ accused the trainer of drugging and raping her during a private training session at her home.

Neither the prosecutor on the case nor de Freitas’ attorney, Jason Bowles, could be reached for comment Saturday.

After de Freitas was charged, Bowles argued against prosecutors’ motion to detain him until trial — calling the case “anything but strong.”

Bowles said text message evidence shows that the victim was “highly flirtatious” after the incident and asked to set up an appointment the next week.

“This obviously is a case of what was consensual sex with a female who has changed her mind, or perhaps she set up Mr. de Freitas to begin with, because of a motive to hurt and destroy him which is now well known,” Bowles wrote.

De Freitas is well known as a fighter and trainer in boxing circles around Albuquerque.

On de Freitas Twitter, he lists himself as a chief instructor at Gracie Barra New Mexico Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy.

De Freitas was previously listed under “Instructors” on Jackson Wink MMA Academy’s website — listing his achievements and biography that says he “became one of the main grappling coaches” at the academy.

The web page was deleted after the charges were filed.


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