Rafael “Barata” Freitas is an incredibly well-known figure in the BJJ community, particularly in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He’s won the IBJJF Pan-Ams and the no gi World Championships both as a brown belt, and in the Masters division at black belt. Not just that, but Freitas is known around the world for his invention of the Barataplata, a shoulder-lock submission that’s one of the many variations of the more traditional Omoplata. He even put together a 5-1-1 MMA record along with a run on The Ultimate Fighter 18, using this experience to become a well-respected BJJ coach for MMA fighters.
Rafael “Barata” Freitas had done work with dozens of top-tier MMA fighters for Jackson Wink MMA academy, including being in the corner as a BJJ coach for Holly Holm and many others. Despite this impressive career, it appears that Freitas may have thrown it all away. First reported in The Albuquerque Journal, he was taken into custody on December 4th after being arrested and charged with third-degree criminal sexual penetration, allegedly having drugged and raped a female student of his.
Most recently, the state is deciding whether to keep him detained until his trial or not after a recent motion to do so. The criminal complaint alleges that Freitas drugged the woman during a private lesson at her house on November 7th, and she also turned over video from a home security camera to the police as evidence. The detective investigating the case claimed that Freitas had “possibly” put something in her drink, and had then forced oral sex on her after she had passed out, then using her hand to masturbate himself.
This story serves as a stark reminder that BJJ does not make you into a better person, regardless of what those memes say. On one hand, some of the best examples of human kindness can come from BJJ but there’s no guarantee that a BJJ practitioner won’t be capable of some of the worst acts of evil as well.