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‘Sexual Predator’ Rafael Joseph of St. Croix Gets 40 Years in Prison For Rape

SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS IN PRISON: ‘SERIAL RAPIST’ RAFAEL JOSEPH OF ST. CROIX

FREDERIKSTED — Forty years in prison – with credit for 2,765 days already served – was the sentence Virgin Islands Superior Court Judge Douglas Brady handed down today on Rafael Joseph for sexually assaulting a woman more than seven years ago, authorities said.

“The defendant put this brave lady through hell – he is every woman’s nightmare – and with this lengthy prison sentence, his reign of terror against our women ends today,” V.I. Attorney General Claude Earl Walker said.

Joseph, 44, was sentenced for first-degree aggravated rape, a charge to which he pleaded guilty, the Virgin Islands Department of Justice said.

At Joseph’s sentencing, prosecutors characterized him as a “sexual predator, serial rapist and a danger to the community,” and recommended that he serve 50 years behind bars, according to the VIDOJ.

Police arrested Joseph on February 17, 2011, after a woman complained that he raped her four days earlier. The victim reported to police that as she was leaving the beach and walking back to her car, Joseph approached her, held her at knifepoint, forced her into the nearby bush and raped her several times.

Joseph also stole her cell phone. Police charged him with three counts of first-degree aggravated rape and one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree unlawful sexual contact, first-degree robbery, kidnapping for rape and carrying or using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence in connection with the offense.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Joseph Ponteen and Assistant Attorney General Alisha Udhwani argued the case for the prosecution.

Joseph’s criminal history dates back to 1992 when he was arrested and charged with first-degree rape and grand larceny. He was serving a 15-year prison term for both crimes when he escaped from custody in 2014.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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