BJJ Coach For Multiple MMA Fighters Accused Of Raping Student


Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Rafael Freitas has been charged with third-degree criminal sexual penetration in New Mexico.

Freitas — who notably trained a number of fighters at Jackson Wink MMA such as former women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm and Michelle Waterson — had a court appearance Saturday in which the state filed a motion to keep him detained until trial. He is currently being held without bond.

According to the criminal complaint obtained by ESPN via Bernalillo Metropolitan Court, Freitas is accused of drugging and raping one of his students who allegedly had security footage of the incident.

“The student told investigators that Freitas came to her home Nov. 7 for an appointment to massage her legs and feet. The woman had been training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu with Freitas for six years and had recently experienced cramping in her lower body.

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The two ate breakfast together and while she was using the restroom, she said Freitas prepared her a second glass of orange juice. The student was also drinking wine and added whiskey and ginger ale to the juice. About 20 to 30 minutes after drinking the beverage, the woman laid on her couch and at that point she believes Freitas started massaging her legs and feet. But she quickly fell asleep on the couch.

When the woman woke up hours later, she told investigators that Freitas was gone and she was naked from the waist down. Days later and still confused about what happened, the woman remembered that she had a security camera installed in her living room. She watched the surveillance video of the events of Nov. 7 and also gave the video to investigators.

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Per the criminal complaint, the video shows Freitas “possibly” dropping something into the woman’s orange juice glass while she was in the bathroom. Freitas made a “flicking” motion with his hand over the drink, per the complaint.

Later, the video shows what appears to be Freitas removing the woman’s shorts and forcing oral sex on her while she was asleep on the couch. The criminal complaint reads that when Freitas maneuvered the woman’s legs following the massage, they seemed like “dead weight.” The video also shows, per the complaint, Freitas’ right arm moving back and forth rapidly with his hand near the women’s groin area. Before leaving, Freitas took the woman’s hand, which appeared to be limp, and rubbed it against his genitals.

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Per the complaint, after Freitas left the home, the video showed the woman laying motionless for about 50 more minutes before sitting up and checking her cell phone.”

Freitas was a cornerman for Holm as recently as her unanimous decision win over Irene Aldana in October. However, Jackson Wink deny he was ever a coach for them.

“[Freitas] is not an employee of Jackson Wink Academy and never has been,” Jackson Wink MMA spokesperson James Hallinan said in a statement.

That’s despite Freitas having a deleted page on the Jackson Wink MMA website which stated he was “one of the main grappling coaches at Jackson Wink MMA Academy.”

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As per ESPN, Freitas is also an instructor at a Gracie Barra Brazilian jiu-jitsu affiliate in Albuquerque that several local MMA fighters train at.