DA Vance: Man Who Forced Ex-Girlfriend to Walk Naked Down Harlem Street Sentenced to 2 ⅓-to-7 Years in Prison

January 3, 2018

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of JASSON MELO, 26, to 2 ⅓-to-7 years in state prison for assaulting his former girlfriend, and forcing her to walk naked on a public street while he berated her and filmed the incident. On December 15, 2017, MELO was convicted by a New York State Supreme Court jury of the top charge he faced, 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. 

“In this egregious case of domestic violence, Jasson Melo repeatedly assaulted the mother of his two-month-old child, forced her to walk outside in January naked, filmed his act of utter humiliation, and then disseminated it in a manner that caused it to go viral,” said District Attorney Vance. “It is my hope that anyone who is suffering from domestic violence and abuse knows that there is help available. I strongly encourage anyone who believes they have been or know a victim to call my Office’s Domestic Violence Hotline at 212-335-4308 or visit one of our City’s Family Justice Centers.”

As proven at trial, at approximately 5:00 a.m. on January 17, 2016, MELO returned to his home on West 142nd Street after a night out. His former girlfriend, and the two-month-old child they shared, were already inside the apartment. The defendant and the victim began arguing and over the course of the next two hours the defendant struck the victim repeatedly on her face and body, punching her in the ribs, stomach, and genital area. He also threatened to throw her down the stairs and strike her with a statue.  

At approximately 8:00 a.m. MELO forced the victim to go outside in only a towel and walk down West 142nd Street, while he berated her and filmed the incident. He eventually took the towel from her and continued recording while she was naked on the street. Following the incident, MELO sent the video to multiple people, including friends and family members of the victim. The victim called the police the next day and sought medical treatment for pain, bruising, redness, and swelling stemming from the assault. 

Assistant District Attorneys Caitlin Connolly and Francisco Zornosa handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Julie Nobel, Deputy Chief of Trial Bureau 40; Robert Ferrari, Chief of Trial Bureau 40; Jeanine Launay, Deputy Chief of the Domestic Violence Unit; Lawrence Newman, Chief of the Domestic Violence Unit; Executive Assistant District Attorney Audrey Moore, Chief of the Special Victims Bureau; and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Paralegals August Rosenthal and Sarah Min, former Paralegal Tatiana Herschlikowicz, Investigative Analyst Hannah Carlson, and Senior Counselor Melissa Martinez-Valdes, of the Witness Aid Services Unit (WASU), under the supervision of Beverly Gilchrist, Deputy Director of WASU, and Mildred Silvie, Director of WASU, also assisted with the prosecution.  

Defendant Information:

JASSON MELO, D.O.B. 11/12/1991 
New York, NY

•    Coercion in the First Degree, a D felony, one count
•    Assault in the Third Degree, an A misdemeanor, one count
•    Menacing in the Second Degree, an A misdemeanor, one count
•    Endangering the Welfare of a Child, an A misdemeanor, one count
•    Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, an A misdemeanor, one count

•    2 ⅓-to-7 years in state prison