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Jiu-jitsu coach, TUF 18 contestant Rafael de Freitas jailed on charge of criminal sexual penetration

The Ultimate Fighter 18: Team Rousey v Team Tate Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Rafael “Barata” de Freitas, a jiu-jitsu coach and contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 18, has been arrested and charged with third-degree criminal sexual penetration.

Frietas, who’s coached several fighters from the famed Jackson Wink MMA Academy, was arrested after a female client accused him of drugging and raping her during a private lesson, according to a criminal complaint obtained by MMA Fighting and first reported by the Albuquerque Journal.

Online records show Freitas, 37, was taken into custody on Dec. 4. He appeared in court on Saturday on a motion from the state to keep him detained until his trial, Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court spokesperson Camille Baca told MMA Fighting. A judge will decide this week whether to grant the motion. Until that time, he remains in custody.

Per the criminal complaint, the woman claimed Freitas drugged her during the lesson on Nov. 7 at her house. The woman turned over to police a video from a home security camera that captured the lesson and the alleged assault. The detective investigating the case watched the video and claimed Freitas “possibly” put something in the woman’s drink and, after she passed out, forced oral sex on her and used her apparently limp hand to masturbate him.

According to the report from the Journal, Freitas was listed as a coach Jackson Wink as recently as Saturday, though his profile was later removed. Freitas is featured in several behind-the-scenes documentary videos of the gym. In July, he was seen in a video posted to Instagram by UFC star Michelle Waterson where he does a pull-up challenge with Waterson and ex-champ Holly Holm and in several other posts. He is also seen alongside Holm and other Jackson Wink coaches in the octagon after Holm’s most recent fight at UFC Fight Island 4.

Despite Freitas’ presence at the gym, Jackson Wink spokesperson James Hallinan told MMA Fighting, “I’ll be crystal clear: He has never been an employee of Jackson Wink Academy. He is not an employee and has never been an employee of Jackson Wink Academy. That’s the statement I have for you.”

Freitas also is associated with Gracie Barra New Mexico Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy. On his Instagram page, he identifies himself as the academy’s “chief instructor.”

The woman accusing Freitas told the investigating detective she’d taken private lessons from him for several years. She said she called the jiu-jitsu coach to her house on Nov. 7 after she complained of cramping and asked him to massage her legs and feet. She said she never had any relationship with the coach “despite his continual flirtation” and added he frequently flirted with other female fighters and she “at times found his behavior inappropriate.”

When Freitas arrived to her house, the woman told the detective he asked whether she was making breakfast for them and left the house to get food. While he was gone, she drank a half-glass of wine. The two ate breakfast together, and she drank a glass of orange juice. When she went to the bathroom, Freitas had poured a second glass of juice and filled it halfway. She said she assumed he did this so she could make the drink to her liking; she added a shot of whiskey and ginger ale to the drink.

Thirty minutes later, she told the detective, she felt sleepy and passed out as Freitas massaged her legs. When she awoke later, she was naked from the waist down.

The woman said she spoke with Freitas over text a few days later and said she was embarrassed about passing out, writing, “Um, my shorts? I’m not sure what happened. She said Freitas responded, “Yeah, you were fine don’t feel this way at all you’re good,” and didn’t reference any sexual contact between them.

When the woman remembered the security camera in her living room, she told the detective she watched the footage from Nov. 7 and then provided him a copy. The detective said Freitas “possibly” dropped something into the woman’s orange juice and made a “flicking” motion over the glass when she was in the bathroom.

When the woman passed out, the detective said the video allegedly showed Freitas manipulating her legs, which appeared “heavy,” removed her pants and forced oral sex on her, appearing to masturbate himself. Freitas, the detective said, didn’t react when the woman’s dogs started barking, and before leaving, he used her hand to rub his genitals with her “limp” hand. The woman was motionless for approximately 50 minutes before waking up and checking her cell phone.

In New Mexico, third degree criminal sexual penetration is a felony that carries a potential sentence of up to three years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Before focusing on jiu-jitsu competition, Freitas was an active MMA fighter. He is 5-1-1 as a professional and appeared on The Ultimate Fighter 18, where he lost to Cody Bollinger by TKO in a preliminary fight to earn a spot on the show.

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