Home » History, Mystery & Crime » Menudo’s Ex-Member Says He Was Raped by Father of the Menendez Brothers

Menudo’s Ex-Member Says He Was Raped by Father of the Menendez Brothers

The case at hand was a captivating spectacle, drawing a daily national audience to a televised criminal trial. Three decades past, two affluent young gentlemen faced charges of matricide and patricide, their parents falling victim to a hail of bullets unleashed within the confines of their opulent Beverly Hills mansion’s sitting room.

Lyle and Erik Menendez found themselves convicted in 1996 for the gruesome slaying of their mother, Mary Louise, renowned as Kitty during her reign as a former beauty queen, and their father, Jose, a luminary figure in the realm of music, despite the defense’s assertion that the brothers had endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of their father, compelling them to act out of fear.

Roy Rosselló, once a member of Menudo, the 1980s sensation in the world of boy bands, has now come forth with grave allegations. Rosselló avows that during his teenage years, he was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Jose Menendez, a claim he voiced during a segment on the “Today” show, disclosing some insights from an upcoming docuseries scheduled to premiere on May 2 via Peacock, NBCUniversal’s esteemed streaming platform.

“Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed,” rooted in the investigative work of journalists Robert Rand and Nery Ynclan, stands focused predominantly on the narrative of Mr. Rosselló. He recounts a personal encounter with Mr. Menendez, while also recounting separate instances of sexual abuse perpetrated by one of Menudo’s former managers during his tenure with the group.

Mr. Rosselló asserts of Mr. Menendez, “I am cognizant of the actions he perpetrated upon me within his abode,” as highlighted in a snippet from the forthcoming docuseries aired on “Today.”

The potential ramifications of Mr. Rosselló’s testimonial on the defense’s endeavors to secure a fresh trial for the Menendez brothers, who previously encountered unsuccessful appeals, remain nebulous.

The credibility of the brothers’ narrative, along with the viability of defense arguments spotlighting sexual abuse as a mitigating element in the case, were pivotal in the course of the criminal proceedings that ensued following the grim discovery in 1989. The initial trial, commencing in 1993, culminated in two unresolved juries and two mistrials. Subsequent retrials, occurring two years later, yielded convictions for first-degree murder, sentencing the brothers to life imprisonment, where they continue to serve their sentences.

The District Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles County, which prosecuted the cases during the 1990s, remained reticent, offering no immediate response to an early Tuesday morning inquiry.

According to the “Today” exposé, Mr. Rosselló is anticipated to recount a pivotal episode involving a visit to the Menendez family abode in New Jersey when he was merely fourteen, a visit he alleges culminated in the drugging and violation of his person by Jose Menendez.

In a compelling photograph from the docuseries, he points toward Mr. Menendez, declaring, “Behold the man who defiled me.” His declaration carries an air of conviction as he proclaims, “The moment has arrived for the global populace to unearth the veracity.”

Roy Rosselló, a former member of the renowned musical ensemble Menudo, has levelled damning accusations against Jose Menendez, patriarch of Erik and Lyle Menendez, alleging that he was subjected to grave sexual misconduct at the tender age of fourteen, an accusation that has surfaced via Peacock’s platform.

Mr. Menendez’s association with Menudo stemmed from his role as the individual who signed the group under RCA Records.

Mr. Rosselló had previously divulged his own ordeal of sexual abuse during his tenure with Menudo. Others have also shared accounts of enduring verbal, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse while participating in the four-part HBO Max docuseries “Menudo: Forever Young.” However, to date, no individuals have faced criminal charges stemming from these allegations.

Milton Andersen, 88, a kin of Kitty Menendez, did not mince words, labeling Mr. Rosselló’s assertion unequivocally false. Andersen staunchly opined that the Menendez brothers should remain incarcerated, arguing that the fresh allegations could catalyze a reevaluation of the case.

He vehemently stated, “After ruthlessly snuffing out the lives of my dear sister and her husband, they ought not to be granted the privilege of traversing this earthly plane.”

The Menendez family tragedy garnered widespread attention, partly due to the privileged status of the young siblings. Lyle was pursuing higher education at Princeton when the atrocities occurred, while Erik aspired to shine as a professional tennis luminary. The prosecution painted them as callous assassins, driven by the desire to commandeer their parents’ substantial $14 million estate.

Jose Menendez sustained five gunshot wounds to the cranium, including a shot to the back. The brothers’ own testimonies indicated that after expending several rounds, Lyle retreated momentarily to his automobile, reloading his 12-gauge shotgun before pressing the barrel against his mother’s cheek, unleashing yet another shot.

Initially, law enforcement speculated that the murders might be linked to the Mafia. However, subsequent investigation spotlighted Lyle, then 22, and Erik, 19, especially after the duo embarked on a spending spree, acquiring Rolex timepieces, condominiums, sports cars, and other extravagances in the wake of the heinous act.

While initially denying culpability, the brothers emerged as the prime suspects when taped conversations with their psychologist emerged, revealing the motivations behind the tragic matricide and patricide.

As the inaugural trial loomed, the defense team proffered an alternate narrative for the crimes. Lyle confronted his father about the family’s closely guarded secrets of sexual abuse, igniting a volatile confrontation that led the brothers to commit the act out of sheer fear for their lives.

The defense contended that the charges of murder ought to be mitigated to those of manslaughter, given that the defendants genuinely, albeit mistakenly, believed their very lives were hanging in the balance.

The televised trials, broadcasted on Court TV, heralded the dawning of a new era in courtroom spectacle. In the initial round of trials, some jurors were swayed by the brothers’ heartfelt accounts of their torment. These testimonies engendered division among the jurors, resulting in a deadlock between manslaughter and murder verdicts, thereby contributing to the mistrials.

The televised trials, broadcasted on Court TV, heralded the dawning of a new era in courtroom spectacle. In the initial round of trials, some jurors were swayed by the brothers’ heartfelt accounts of their torment. These testimonies engendered division among the jurors, resulting in a deadlock between manslaughter and murder verdicts, thereby contributing to the mistrials.

However, the landscape shifted by the time the second jury convened to deliberate on the brothers’ fate. Cameras were disallowed within the courtroom, with severe constraints imposed on witness testimonies and evidence pertaining to Jose Menendez’s parenting. Prosecutors, who had abstained from contesting the brothers’ allegations of molestation in the first trials, now seized upon Erik Menendez’s appearance on the witness stand, casting aspersions on the veracity of the alleged abuse.

The lead prosecutor, David Conn, posed a pointed question to Mr. Menendez: “Can you furnish us with the name of a solitary eyewitness to any of the purported sexual assaults that transpired within that domicile?” He meticulously listed the locales where the brothers had resided.

Mr. Menendez’s response, documented in the transcripts, remained constant: “No.”

Moreover, during the trial, the defense could not produce any witnesses other than the brothers themselves to support the characterization of Mr. Menendez as a sexual predator.

Roy Rosselló

As the trial neared its conclusion, Judge Stanley M. Weisberg ruled out the admissibility of the “abuse excuse.” This ruling essentially compelled the jurors to make a binary choice: either acquit the brothers or convict them of murder.

They opted for the latter.

“We did harbor the belief that psychological abuse was present.” One juror, Lesley Hillings, later shared with The Los Angeles Times. “Did we lean toward the notion of sexual exploitation? It remains uncertain whether that is true.”

Legal experts opined that even with the emergence of Mr. Rosselló’s fresh allegations, the defense attorneys’ task of re-examining the case would be fraught with difficulties.

Laurie L. Levenson, a distinguished professor of criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, who had provided legal analysis during the Menendez case in the 1990s, conveyed that Mr. Rosselló’s revelations might be deemed “insufficient and belated.”

“In the ultimate analysis, during the second trial, the jury harbored skepticism toward their claims,” Professor Levenson remarked, alluding to the brothers’ allegations of sexual abuse.

Alan Jackson, a seasoned criminal defense attorney, concurred in the segment aired on “Today,” acknowledging that the Menendez brothers faced a daunting uphill battle. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that Mr. Rosselló’s testimony offered a slender glimmer of hope for the siblings.

About Fehmeeda Farid Khan

A freelancer, blogger, content writer, translator, tour consultant, proofreader, environmentalist, social mobilizer, poetess and novelist. As a physically challenged person, she extends advocacy on disability related issues. She's masters in Economics and Linguistics along with B.Ed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *