A New York man took victim-blaming to a new level by testifying that his former girlfriend volunteered to walk through the streets of Harlem naked while bruised and battered.
Jasson Melo, 26, is standing trial for abusing his girlfriend — who is also the mother of his child — and forcing her to walk outside nude in January 2016 because he thought she was being unfaithful, The Root reports.
In court, Melo denied laying a finger on the victim despite police photos clearly showing bruises all over her. Additionally, he claims that going outside in the middle of winter wrapped in nothing but a towel was the woman’s own idea.
He reportedly told the New York County Supreme Court in Manhattan that he had caught the victim sending texts of a sexual nature to other men when he returned home from a night out.
She supposedly was very apologetic, begging for his forgiveness and asking what she could do to get back into his good graces. At that point, Melo claimed he suggested that she walk naked through the street, an idea purportedly sparked by an African shaming ritual for “when somebody gets cheated on.”
“You can do this. I’ll send this video to this guy so they can see you’re not single,” Melo said, recounting the alleged conversation with the victim.
He wanted to send the video of her walk of shame to all of her supposed male suitors to let them know she was in a relationship in an effort to deter them from pursuing her any further.
The problem with Melo’s testimony is that it doesn’t match up to what he shared on social media. At the time of the incident, he posted a video on Instagram of the victim walking outside and him stripping off the towel that she was wrapped in. The clip went viral, and he faced backlash, prompting him to post another video the following day apologizing to “all women.”
“I didn’t think this would get to this point,” Melo reportedly said in Spanish in the clip. “Maybe I made a mistake to do what I did, from the beginning, to take her out naked. I really regret this.”
This entire cringe-worthy ordeal exemplifies toxic masculinity at its worst.
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