Eight men are facing felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting an unconscious 16-year-old girl during a party last December, with a portion of the rape being recorded on video and then shared on Facebook.
Police in Providence held a press conference on Wednesday morning and announced the arrests of seven of the suspects, identified as Richard Tarell Chester, 20, of Massachussetts; Luis Cabrera, 19; Jose Vargas, 19; Erving Keith Colon, 25; Malcom Baptista, 19; Luis Luna, 19, and Carlos Chicon, 20, all of Providence.
An eighth suspect, Carlos Vasquez, 19, of Providence, remains at large and is being sought by police.
Chester, who was allegedly seen in the video raping the teenager, has been charged with first-degree sexual assault on a person who was mentally incapacitated and conspiracy.
The other seven men have been arraigned on charges of assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual assault on a person who was mentally incapacitated, and conspiracy.
Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements Jr described the case as ‘horrifying, devastating, disturbing’ during a press conference on Wednesday announcing the arrests
According to court documents obtained by the Boston Globe, the girl was alone with Chester, who then ordered her to leave.
When she retrieved her phone, she discovered that someone had used the device to send mocking messages to her ex-boyfriend, saying that she was sexually assaulted by multiple men while she was unconscious.
‘Not only did they criminally and viciously assault her, but completely violated her in so many inhumane ways,’ Clements said.
During interviews with investigators, the teen remembered a man holding her down on a bed and pouring Hennessy brandy down her throat during a house party where she was brought by two people she knew, according to the records.
She also recalled waking up naked in a shower surrounded by 15 men who were laughing and possibly photographing her.
The girl and her family filed a police report later that day, but it was not until June 2020 that the investigation kicked into high gear thanks to the discovery of a video recording on Facebook depicting a portion of the sexual assault.
The footage, described by Police Major David Lapatin as ‘sickening,’ reportedly depicted the unconscious 16-year-old being sexually assaulted on a bed by multiple men while others stood by and watched.
The victim’s mother recorded the video off Facebook and brought it to the detectives, who used it to identify the men in the footage and obtain warrants for their arrests, which were executed last week in Providence.