NBC 10 I-Team: Pawtucket couple pleads 'not guilty' to kidnapping and sexual assault

Rafael Freitas and Joylinn Gelpi

Two Pawtucket residents faced a Providence County Superior Court judge on Wednesday morning on charges that they sexually and physically abused a homeless woman.

Joylinn Gelpi and Rafael Freitas, both 27, pleaded not guilty to a long list of charges during their arraignment before Associate Superior Court Judge Luis Matos.

The Statewide Grand Jury indicted Gelpi and Freitas, charging them each 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.

Gelpi was also charged with 10 counts of felony assault and Freitas was charged with four counts of felony assault on the same victim, according to the indictment.

The couple allegedly kidnapped and sexually and physically assaulted a 28-year old woman. Pawtucket police said Freitas and Gelpi kept the woman in the basement of a home on Drolet Avenue for more than a month and that they subjected her to physical and sexual abuse. Court documents obtained by the NBC 10 I-Team said the couple abused the woman with severe impairments with a lighter, abused her with a belt buckle, bent her fingers backward resulting in injury, stomped on her, pulled her hair and forced her to eat feces,

The woman was found Nov. 2 at the Providence Train Station. It's unclear if she escaped or was set free.

Police said the woman told them she met Gelpi at a treatment center and was invited to stay with them.

Police said the defendants used the victim's EBT card and Supplemental Security Income.

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