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RI CRIME

Man accused in Providence gang rape of teenage girl sentenced to prison

Carlos Chacon, 20, was one of eight men who Providence police say were involved in sexually assaulting the teenage girl and posting videos of the assault on Facebook

A Providence County Superior Court judge sentenced Carlos Chacon, 20, one of eight men accused in the gang rape of a teenage girl.
A Providence County Superior Court judge sentenced Carlos Chacon, 20, one of eight men accused in the gang rape of a teenage girl.Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

PROVIDENCE — A Providence man accused of participating in a gang rape of an unconscious 16-year-old girl at a house party in 2019 has been sentenced to prison.

Carlos Chacon, 20, was one of eight men who Providence police say were involved in sexually assaulting the teenage girl — and he is the first of the group to plead out to the charges.

Investigators identified Chacon and the other men after a video appeared on Facebook last summer that showed the unconscious girl being sexually assaulted by multiple men, as others watched.

The girl and her family had gone to police hours after she’d been assaulted in December 2019, but she didn’t know the real names of the men at the party and had been incapacitated during the attack.

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But when she saw the video, the teenage girl recognized herself and told her mother, who recorded the Facebook video on her cell phone and gave it to police.

That’s helped Providence Detectives Jared Sherman and Koren Garcia determine who was involved, according to court records. And then, the state Department of Health crime lab confirmed that Chacon’s DNA was in the evidence recovered from the girl, the attorney general’s office said.

Chacon pleaded no contest in Providence County Superior Court on Thursday to first-degree sexual assault, conspiracy, and possession of child pornography.

Judge Maureen B. Keough sentenced him to 20 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions, with 12 years to serve, and the remainder suspended with probation. Upon release, Chacon must register as a sex offender, complete sex offender counseling, and will be subject to community supervision. The court also issued a no contact order between Chacon and his victim.

“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,” Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said in an announcement about the sentencing. “The defendant took advantage of the young victim’s helpless condition. He demonstrated utter disregard for her. This lengthy prison sentence is more than warranted — it is justice.”

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The criminal cases against the other seven men are currently pending in Providence County Superior Court. At least two are affiliated with local gangs, according to court records, and several had other, unrelated criminal charges against them, including felony assault, illegally carrying firearms, dealing drugs, and threatening to kill Providence police officers.

When police announced the arrests last September, Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. had called this “a despicable, degrading, reprehensible sexual assault crime.”

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven M. Paré said Thursday that Chacon deserved a long prison sentence.

“This crime committed by this defendant is among the very worst violent acts that the Providence Police Department investigates,” Paré said in a statement. “There is no justice that can return the innocence to this victim.”



Amanda Milkovits can be reached at amanda.milkovits@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.