The famous Menendez Brothers’ murder has suddenly come under new scrutiny now that a former member of the popular boy band Menudo has accused their father, Jose Menendez, of sexual abuse.
In the true crime case that gripped America in the 1990s, the Menendez Brothers were convicted of first-degree murder after they brutally shot and killed their father, Jose, and their mother, a former beauty queen named Kitty. In the first prosecution, the brothers walked due to two hung juries and a mistrial after the defense successfully argued that they killed their parents in a panic after confronting their father about years of sexual abuse. Two years later, when prosecuted a second time, the sexual abuse failed to sway the jury and the brothers were convicted. It appears now that the claims have been given new life.
Per the New York Times:
Roy Rosselló, a former member of Menudo, the boy band of the 1980s that became a global sensation, is coming forward with an allegation that he was sexually assaulted as a teenager by Jose Menendez.
The assertion was aired on Tuesday in a segment on the “Today” show that outlined some of the findings of a three-part docuseries scheduled to air on Peacock, the streaming service from NBCUniversal, beginning on May 2. The series, “Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed,” based on reporting by the journalists Robert Rand and Nery Ynclan, is largely focused on Mr. Rosselló. He describes an encounter with Mr. Menendez but also recounts separate incidents of sexual abuse that he says were inflicted on him by one of Menudo’s former managers when he sang as part of the group.
In the docuseries, Rosselló described being drugged and raped by Jose Menendez when visiting his New Jersey home at the age of 14.
“I know what he did to me in his house,” Rosselló says of Jose Menendez in the documentary.
In another clip, Rosselló points at a photo of Jose Menendez and says, “That’s the man here that raped me. That’s the pedophile.”
“It’s time for the world to know the truth,” he also says.
Jose Menendez had signed the group Menudo, sometimes referred to as the most “Iconic Latino Pop Music Band,” when he served as an executive of RCA Records. Rosselló and other members of the band said they were verbally, emotionally, and sexually abused in the four-part HBO Max docuseries Menudo: Forever Young.
Kitty Menendez’s brother, 88-year-old Milton Andersen, called the allegation against his former brother-in-law false and denounced any effort to free Lyle and Erik Menendez.
“They do not deserve to walk on the face of this earth after killing my sister and my brother-in-law,” he told the New York Times.
During the famous trial, the Menendez defense could not produce one witness to testify that the boys had been sexually abused or that their father had sexually abused others, which largely swayed the jury into ultimately convicting them of murder. The defense had tried to bring the charges down to manslaughter, claiming that the brothers killed their parents in a panic after confronting them about the sexual abuse. Prosecutors argued that the brothers killed their parents to access their $14 million estate. Regardless of the motives, the murders were undeniably gruesome, with Jose Menendez being shot five times, including once in the back of the head.
“By the brothers’ own testimony, after they had discharged several rounds, Lyle went to his car, reloaded his 12-gauge shotgun, and pushed the muzzle of his gun to his mother’s cheek and shot her again,” the Times noted.
Whether or not Rosselló’s claims about Jose Menendez will lead to a new trial for the brothers remains to be seen, but legal experts doubt much will come of it. Laurie L. Levenson, a professor of criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles who provided legal analysis of the Menendez case in the 1990s, called the claims “too little, too late.”
“In the end, in the second trial, the jury just didn’t believe them,” Professor Levenson said, adding that Rosselló’s claim “could be something you could file with the court and claim that it’s newly discovered evidence and that it would have made a difference in the case, but they will have the burden to show that.”
Paul Roland Bois joined Breitbart News in 2021. He also directed the award-winning feature film, EXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on Tubi or rented at VIMEO On Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms as well as on Truth Social @paulboisbreitbart.
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