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Providence man found guilty of first-degree sexual assault

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Providence man was found guilty in Providence County Superior Court of committing multiple counts of sexual assault against a female victim in 2012.

On September 30, 2021, following the conclusion of a nine-day trial before Superior Court Justice Joseph A. Montalbano, a jury found Victor Tavares (age 35) guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of conspiracy.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled in Providence Count Superior Court for a later date.

"Justice may have been delayed in this case, but fortunately it was not denied. The defendant, along with his co-defendant, caused great harm to the victim and he has now been held accountable for his conduct," said Attorney General Neronha. "He is unlikely to see the streets of Rhode Island other than from the vantage point of a prison cell for a very long time, and that alone makes Rhode Islanders safer. I am enormously grateful for the courage displayed by the victim throughout the investigation and prosecution of the case."

During the trial, the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that on May 26, 2012, Tavares and a co-defendant, Franklin Johnson, sexually assaulted a woman at a residence on Douglas Avenue in Providence in 2012.

Following an initial investigation, in early 2018, the Providence Police Department, working with the Office of Attorney General, renewed its investigation into the case. In May 2018, the Providence County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Tavares and Johnson with felony counts stemming from their roles in perpetrating the sexual assault in 2012.

At the time of his indictment, Tavares was serving probation stemming from a first-degree robbery conviction in 2006. Following his indictment, the Superior Court ruled that Tavares violated the terms of his probation. He has been held at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) as a violator since that time.

In 2018, Johnson pleaded to his role in the assault and was sentenced to the ACI.

"Committing the reprehensible crime of sexual assault against an innocent victim is among the very worst violent acts that the Providence Police investigate," said Steven M. Paré, Providence Commissioner of Public Safety. "While there is no justice that can return the innocence to this victim, I commend her bravery throughout this process and thank Detective A'Vant and our partners at the RI Attorney General's Office for their investigation and prosecution of this case."

Assistant Attorney General Ania Zielinski and Special Assistant Attorney General David T. Bonzagni of the Office of the Attorney General and Detective Angelo A'Vant of the Providence Police Department led the investigation and prosecution of the case.

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