PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A statewide grand jury Friday handed out an indictment against two people accused of holding a severely impaired woman against her will in a basement apartment for more than a month and subjecting her to disturbing mental, physical and sexual abuse.
Rafael Freitas and Joylinn Gelpi, both 27, were each indicted with one count of first-degree sexual assault; conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault; kidnapping; conspiracy to commit kidnapping; simple assault; and assault on an impaired person. Additionally, Gelpi was charged with 10 counts of felony assault and Freitas was charged with four counts of felony assault.
Pawtucket police said they found the homeless woman at the train station in downtown Providence. She told them Freitas and Gelpi confined her to the basement at 1 Drolet Ave. Police have not said if she escaped the home or was set free by the suspects.
The woman said she met Gelpi at a mental health and addiction treatment center, according to police, and was invited to stay with the couple.
In a news release, police wrote: “The victim reported that she was then forced to stay in the basement against her will, deprived of water and the use of the bathroom. She was further subjected to being burned with a lighter, assaulted with a belt, and occasionally tied up to a chair or pole with an extension cord for extended periods of time as a form of punishment.”
Police said Gelpi and Freitas also used the victim’s EBT card and SSI funds for their own personal use. The alleged victim also had an autism spectrum disorder.
Both Gelpi and Freitas are being held at the ACI without bail. They are due for arraignment in Superior Court on Jan. 10, 2018.
Pawtucket police asked anyone with information about this case or any similar incidents involving these two suspects to contact Pawtucket Police Detectives David Silva or Nathan Gallison at (401) 727-9100 ext. 760 or 724.