A New York man has been found guilty of forcing his then girlfriend to walk naked through the streets because she allegedly messaged other men. Jason Melon also rebuked the then 22-year-old and videotaped the assault, the New York State Supreme Court heard.
The 26-year-old had first choked and punched his ex-partner in front of their two-month-old daughter in January 2016. He then forced her to walk naked down a Harlem street in the cold, while he filmed her.
The disturbing footage, which he posted on Instagram and LiveLeak purportedly to punish her, showed the woman in a towel before the man eventually pulls it away, exposing her in front of passers-by.
The New York court jury charged him with coercion in the first degree, as well as assault in the third degree, menacing in the second degree, endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated harassment in the second degree.
Reading the charges against the accused, District Attorney Cyrus Vance said, "Jasson Melo assaulted his former girlfriend, then forced her to walk naked, in the middle of winter, down a public street while their two-month-old baby was left unattended upstairs.
"To further degrade her, he recorded the ordeal, then had the audacity to brag about his actions, sharing the video with multiple friends and even attempting to profit from it."
On Monday (11 December) jurors had watched the footage in shock. The victim who was present in court burst into tears and said Melon had "tortured" her for two hours before forcing her to walk naked on the street.
"He was saying many things, like I'm a whore, I could kill you right now, I'm capable of anything," the woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, said.
Testifying against her former boyfriend, the victim told the court that her ordeal began after Melo found explicit texts from other men on her cell phone. He also allegedly threw a heavy stone at her in an attempt to bash her head.
In the video, the man believed to be Melo can be heard saying in Spanish: "Stop and take the towel off. We need to see your shame.
"A pretty girl like you [...] with seven men. You will pay the price. Now everybody can see, now everybody can see.
"Take off your towel! Co-operate b***h. Pay the price for the shame I feel after telling you how pretty you were and that I wanted to start a family with you, but in the meantime you were talking to seven other men." To that the victim replies, "But not to have sex with them."
"Oh wow, not to have sex! But conversations about kissing, with "love", "babe" and the pictures," Melon says sarcastically in the clip.
Since the incident, the woman has been hiding out at her apartment with her infant daughter and is too afraid to go out, she said.
She told Univision in 2016: "I was so scared of him, I didn't know what to do, I couldn't even think. He started threatening me, he threatened to slash my face."
Melo now faces up to seven years behind bars on the top count of felony coercion, the Daily Mail reported.