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CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Police charge ninth man in alleged gang rape of underage girl in Providence

Providence Public Safety complex.
Providence Public Safety complex.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Providence police say that new evidence led them to charge a ninth man in the alleged gang rape of an unconscious teenage girl at a house party in December.

Antonio Leiva, 20, of Providence, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging him with first-degree sexual assault and conspiracy, said Major David Lapatin.

Leiva was arraigned and ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions.

His arrest comes weeks after police arrested eight men on sexual assault charges, after identifying them from a video shared on Facebook of the assault.

Lapatin said that more evidence had come up recently, leading to Leiva’s arrest. He declined to describe the evidence or answer questions about whether there were other suspects. “The case is continuing,” he said.

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Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. had called the case “a despicable, degrading, reprehensible sexual assault crime.”

The 16-year-old girl and her family went to the police on Dec. 20, 2019, hours after she had been to a house party at 100 Glenham St. She told police that two men brought her to the party, and others encouraged her to drink and smoke marijuana. She felt sick and went to lie down, but one of the men forced Hennessy down her throat, according to court documents.

She remembered waking up naked in a shower, with about 15 men watching her, laughing and appearing to take photos, according to court records. She remembered being brought into a bedroom -- but didn’t know what happened afterward, according to court records.

Only one man was with her when she woke up later, with vaginal pain and scratches on her thighs, according to court records. This summer, a video appeared on Facebook that showed an unconscious woman being sexually assaulted by multiple men.

The girl recognized herself. The police recognized the men. Some were affiliated with local street gangs, some had criminal charges including assault, carrying guns, and threatening to kill Providence police officers.

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Richard Tarell Chester, 20, of Seekonk, Mass., is also charged with first-degree sexual assault with a person who was mentally incapacitated, and conspiracy. Police said he was seen on video raping the unconscious girl.

Carlos Vasquez, 19; Carlos Chacon, 20; Luis Cabrera, 19; Jose Vargas, 19; Erving Keith Colon, 25; Malcom Baptista, 19; and Luis N. Luna, 19, all of Providence, are all charged with assault with intent to commit first-degree sexual assault on an incapacitated person and conspiracy.

No pleas are entered in their cases. All have been ordered not to contact the girl.



Amanda Milkovits can be reached at amanda.milkovits@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.