A New York man is accused of forcing his girlfriend to walk naked down a busy street as punishment for exchanging flirty texts with other men.
The New York Daily News reports that Jason Melo, 26, argued in court 0n Tuesday that his then-girlfriend, 22, had offered to accept the punishment of her choosing if he gave her another chance.
Melo is charged with physically assaulting the woman, who the Daily News declined to identify, before forcing her onto a Harlem street and pulling off a towel she had wrapped around her. He is reportedly defending himself in court, and claimed that on the day of the incident he had arrived home at 5 a.m. and was playing video games on his phone when he heard his girlfriend, who had given birth to their child two months prior, comment on an explicit photo another man had reportedly sent her.
The infant was reportedly nearby when the alleged abuse began.
When Melo looked at his girlfriend’s phone, he claimed he found numerous text message exchanges with other men, in which his girlfriend claimed she was single.
The suspect insisted that he did not physically assault his girlfriend despite photos shown to the jury showing her with bruises on her face and body, and her testimony that he brutalized her.
“He grabbed my neck, and forced it really hard. I was losing breath,” the woman testified.
“He was saying many things, like I’m a whore, I could kill you right now, I’m capable of anything.”
She said the abuse went on for two hours before he forced her out into the cold wearing only a towel.
But Melo insisted that the humiliation was partially her own idea, claiming that she asked him what she could “do for you to forgive me.”
Melo said in court that he got the idea for the humiliating ritual from an African ritual performed by people accused of cheating.
“You can do this,” the suspect testified that he told his girlfriend.
“I’ll send this video to this guy so they can see you’re not single,” he said.
The woman claimed that Melo threatened to beat her with a Buddha statue if he didn’t comply.
The suspect is facing charges of assault, menacing and endangering the welfare of a child.
The Daily Mail obtained video of the ordeal. WARNING: Contains censored nudity.
[Feature image: Daily Mail video screenshot]