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Woman allegedly witnessed ex-husband rape child, threatened victim to keep quiet, and told authorities he just ‘doesn’t seem like the type’

Melissa Brito Urbay and Yupsander Brito Urbay (Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

Melissa Brito Urbay and Yupsander Brito Urbay (Monroe County Sheriff’s Office)

A 42-year-old man in Florida was arrested this week for allegedly raping a young girl dozens of times, most recently in December 2022. The man’s 42-year-old ex-wife was also arrested because she allegedly knew her then-husband was sexually assaulting the child — witnessing at least one of the assaults herself — and did nothing to stop it or prevent it from happening again in the future.

Yupsander Brito Urbay and Melissa Brito Urbay — who have been divorced since 2021 —were both taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with felonies in connection with the alleged assaults. Yupsander Brito Urbay is facing one count of sexual assault by an a person 18 or older against a victim under 12 years old and one count of sex offense – incest, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Melissa Brito Urbay is charged with one count of child neglect without great bodily harm, a third-degree felony.

According to a copy of the probable cause affidavit obtained by Miami ABC affiliate WPLG, the investigation into the couple began last month. An individual submitted a report on April 7, 2023 to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) online abuse hotline claiming that Yupsander Brito Urbay had been sexually abusing a child. Within days, investigators reportedly scheduled an appointment for the victim to undergo a medical exam and a forensic interview.

During the interview, the victim reportedly told investigators that Yupsander Brito Urbay had repeatedly raped her, with the assaults taking place as frequently as “four to five times a month” and the most recent assault occurring about five months prior to the forensic interview.

The court records for both Yupsander and Melissa Brito Urbay are currently marked as “confidential” and WPLG did not include the alleged victim’s age or relationship to the defendants in order to protect her identity. Based on the charges filed against Yupsander Brito Urbay, the victim was 11 or younger when the alleged sexual assaults began and it is unclear how long the victim says the attacks continued.

The victim also told investigators that Melissa Brito Urbay witnessed at least one of the rapes and failed to intervene — or do anything at all to protect her. However, authorities say she did inform her former husband about the investigation into the alleged sexual assaults.

“[Melissa Brito Urbay] knew what had happened because she walked in when I was [redacted] and I put on my clothes,” the victim told investigators, according to WPLG. “[Melissa Brito Urbay] told me not to say anything, because if I did, I was gonna get in trouble.”

When questioned by investigators about the alleged rapes, Melissa Brito Urbay reportedly said that the victim told her what was happening but that she did not believe the child’s claims were true, saying that her ex-husband “doesn’t seem like the type.”

“[The victim] might have tried to tell me [about the alleged sexual assaults], but I probably came off kind of strong so she said ‘never mind,’” Melissa Brito Urbay told police, according to WPLG.

Yupsander Brito Urbay is currently being held on $600,000 bond while Melissa Brito Urbay is being held on $150,000 bond, jail records show.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.