Leo Bravo back in court for new sex abuse charges

After pleading guilty and serving time for previous sexual abuse charges, Leo Bravo, 63, is back in court facing a new set of allegations. Bravo, former director of the Multicultural Center of Cache Valley, faces five charges of rape, five charges object rape and five charges of forcible sodomy. Each charge is a first degree felony.The alleged abuse started in January 2001 and continued until the end of July 2001. The victim, who is now 28, was 17 years old until February 2001. During a preliminary hearing Thursday morning several items were entered as evidence including a written statement from the victim and a transcript of a pretext phone call between the victim and Bravo recorded by police. The victim lived with Bravo, his wife and his daughters for months, and Bravo had guardianship over the Venezuela native. According to a statement from the victim, translated from Spanish to English, Bravo would wait until his wife left to work a night shift, he would unlock the victim’s bedroom door and sexually assault her several times a week. In the statement, the victim referred to the experience as a “nightmare” and repeatedly referred to Bravo as a “monster” when as her guardian he was “supposed to be like (her) father.” She felt isolated, the document states.The victim’s statement mentioned Bravo would allegedly stay in her room for hours, and sometimes he’d give her an energy drink so that she could get through the next day on little sleep. County Attorney James Swink called Bravo’s guardianship a “planned and calculated effort to gain authority and control over a young girl.”An arraignment is set for February 6, with a three-day trial set to start April 17. – rachel@cvdaily.com

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