Prosecutor Dismisses Sexual Assault Charges Against BJJ Black Belt Rafael De Freitas

Two charges of criminal sexual penetration in the third degree against BJJ black belt and former TUF contestant Rafael de Freitas have been dismissed, according to a court document sent to the Jiu-Jitsu Times by de Freitas’ attorney Jason Bowles.

The document from the Bernalillo County District Court in New Mexico 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 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.

The term nolle prosequi means that the prosecutor will no longer pursue charges against the accused.

At the end of 2020, de Freitas was accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a student who had invited him over to her house. Further details about the initial accusations can be found here.

Bowles later released a statement proclaiming his client’s innocence in the charges brought against him:

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.”

In addition to being a jiu-jitsu practitioner and coach, de Freitas is also a retired MMA fighter. He most recently fought for the LFC in 2014. He is also a former Pans champion and is known for creating the baratoplata submission.


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