Former Jay man sentenced to 10 years in sexual assault case

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FARMINGTON — A Franklin County judge sentenced a Rhode Island man Friday to five years of a 10-year sentence and four years of probation for sexually assaulting a woman in Jay in May 2013.

Wilson Ferreira Alves, 31, of Pawtucket, R.I., formerly of Jay, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of unlawful sexual contact in a plea agreement with the state in Franklin County Superior Court.

A felony charge of gross sexual assault was dismissed.

If the case went to trial, Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said the victim would have testified she had gone to stay at a relative’s home in Jay, as she frequently did, planning to stay there for several days.

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She would testify that Alves was renting a room at the residence. He and others at the home had been drinking that evening, but she had not. She had rebuffed Alves’ romantic advances and told him it wouldn’t happen, Andrews said.

She fell asleep and awoke to Alves being on top of her, holding her down and sexually assaulting her, the victim would have testified, Andrews said.

Jay acting police Chief Richard Caton IV would have testified that he spoke to the victim and the defendant, and Alves admitted he had never met the woman before. Caton had issued a warrant for Alves, who had left the state.

There would also be testimony that a vaginal swipe from the victim matched Alves’ DNA, Andrews said.

Bonnie Lisherness, a victim advocate with Sexual Assault, Prevention and Response Services, read a letter from the woman to the court.

The woman said her whole life changed in May 2013, when a man she did not know “raped her.” Her relative’s house was a safe haven for her and in a moment, it was stolen from her, Lisherness read.

The victim’s letter said she woke up to find Alves on top of her and smelling like alcohol. The smell still bothers her today. She said though she screamed “stop” and “no” and tried to get him off her, he continued, Lisherness read.

The woman said in her letter that she has post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma from the incident and still gets panic attacks.

“He took everything from me,” Lisherness read.

The letter also said Alves “can’t be given enough time.”

The woman’s letter called Alves “evil” and asked the court to see how evil he was and the damage he caused, including her not being able to feel safe anymore.

The woman had been notified of the proposed sentence and did not dispute it.

Acting-Retired Judge Robert Clifford approved the joint sentence agreement that called for 10 years in prison with all but five suspended, followed by four years of probation. Alves also just undergo sex offender treatment and register as a sex offender.

Alves declined to address the court.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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