Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced today that a Providence man has been sentenced in Providence County Superior Court to serve 12 years at the ACI for his role in the multi-defendant sexual assault of an incapacitated 16-year-old female victim in 2019.
At a hearing on March 8, 2023, Malcolm Baptista (age 21) entered a plea of nolo contendere to one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of conspiracy to commit sexual assault, one count of possession child pornography, and one count of obstruction of justice.
At the hearing, before Superior Court Justice Richard Raspallo, the Court sentenced the defendant to 20 years, with 12 years to serve at the ACI, and an eight-year suspended sentence and 20 years of probation. The defendant was ordered by the Court to register as a sex offender, complete sex offender counseling, and is subject to community supervision. The court also issued a No Contact Order between the defendant and his victim.
The defendant is the fifth defendant to be convicted for their role in the 2019 sexual assault.
“The defendant here violated that most basic principle – that every person, at all times, under all circumstances – is entitled to be free from an assault against their person,” said Attorney General Neronha. “The defendant took advantage of the young victim’s helpless condition. He demonstrated utter disregard for her. The significant prison sentence he now faces is more than warranted. It is justice.”
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that between December 19 and December 20, 2019, the defendant sexually assaulted an incapacitated 16-year-old female victim at a residence on Wesleyan Avenue in Providence.
The defendant was part of a group that sexually assaulted the victim and recorded portions of the assault on a cellphone. Video of the assault was later uploaded to Facebook.
Investigators identified the defendant and the other assailants from the cellphone videos.
To date, four additional codefendants have been convicted for their roles in the sexual assault.
In July, 2021, Carlos Chacon was convicted of first-degree sexual assault and was sentenced to serve 12 years at the ACI.
On October 27, 2022, Antonio Leiva was convicted of first-degree sexual assault and sentenced to serve 12 years at the ACI.
On December 13, 2022, Jose Vargas was convicted of second-degree sexual assault and sentenced to serve eight years at the ACI.
On January 25, 2023, Richard Chester was convicted of first-degree sexual assault and sentenced to serve 12 years at the ACI.
The cases against two remaining defendants charged with misdemeanor offenses are currently pending in Providence County Superior Court.
“The defendant involved in this incident has been convicted of a horrific and disturbing crime that has caused pain and suffering to the victim and their family,” said Providence Police Chief Oscar Perez. “I am proud of the work conducted by the men and women of the Providence Police Department throughout this investigation and thank the prosecutors at the Office of the Attorney General.”
Detectives Jared Sherman and Koren Garcia of the Providence Police Department and Assistant Attorneys General Joseph McBurney and Meghan McDonough of the Office of the Attorney General led the investigation and prosecution of the case.
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