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Former Menudo band member claims he was raped by the Menendez brothers' father

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Apr 19, 2023 3:54 pm

Warning: This story contains mentions of sexual abuse

A former member of the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo is coming forward with an allegation that he was raped by the father of Lyle and Erik Menendez, who the two killed in an infamous case that started in 1989.

Three decades ago, the Menendez brothers were involed in a serious crime after they murdered their parents, Jose and Mary Louise or "Kitty." During their trial in which the whole world tuned into, the two defended themselves by claiming that Jose had been sexually, physically and emotionally abusing them since they were young children. 

Having had enough of his cruel treatment, the brothers shot their father six times and their mother 10 times with a 12-gauge shotgun in their home, fearing that their parents would kill them if they bring to light the alleged abuse. 

The two were eventually convicted of the murders in 1996 and are still imprisoned, serving out life sentences without the option of parole.

And now, nearly three decades later, a new allegation has been made by Roy Rosselló, who was a member of the popular music group Menudo before he ultimately left the band to pursue a solo career. According to his claims, he had also been sexually assaulted as a teenager by the father of the Menendez brothers.

The TODAY show was the first to air these allegations when they published an exclusive first look at the upcoming three-part Peacock docuseries, Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed.

Rosselló said that Jose drugged and raped him during a trip to the Menendez family’s New Jersey home when he was just 14 years old. In a clip, the singer pointed his finger to a photo of Jose and said, "That’s the man here that raped me. This guy. That’s the pedophile."

This new information to the case remains significant even when the infamous trial had already ended 27 years ago, as the prosecutors back then did not believe the brothers' defense that they were abuse, alleging that they committed the murders because they wanted their parents' money.

The jury agreed with the prosecutors, and the brothers have since been looked upon as killers who were blinded by money.

When Erik learned about Rosselló's claim, he confessed that he felt "horrible" about it.

"It's sad to know that there was another victim of my father. I always hoped and believed that one day the truth about my dad would come out. But I never wished for it to come out like this: the result of trauma that another child has suffered. It makes me very sad," he said.

Lyle shared the same sentiments as his brother, calling the revelation "overwhelming."

"We’d heard rumors that something might have happened with Menudo through the years. You know that that would have made a difference at trial. Certainly that would have made an enormous difference," he said.

On whether this allegation can still help the brothers earn their freedom, criminal defense attorney Alan Jackson told TODAY that it would be a complex process involving a petition and another trial.

Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed will air on Peacock starting on May 2.