Providence man sentenced to life in prison following rape conviction

Leopoldo Belen at his arraignment on murder charges in the 2013 death of Dean Cabral.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man convicted of physically and sexually assaulting a woman after she smoked his last cigarette was sentenced to life in prison Monday.

Leopoldo Belen, 36, was found guilty of four counts of first-degree sexual assault in Superior Court back in April. Prosecutors said Belen assaulted his then-girlfriend in her apartment when she was 21 years old, back in April 2014.

During the assault, prosecutors said Belen dragged the victim into a bathroom. Sometime later, prosecutors said Belen got distracted and the victim was able to escape the apartment.

According to prosecutors, the victim then ran to a neighbor’s apartment and called police.

In addition to the life sentence, Belen has been ordered to receive sex offender counseling and must not have contact with the victim, prosecutors said. If Belen is ever placed on parole, prosecutors said he would be subject to be registered as a lifetime sex offender.

Belen is also accused of beating a 78-year-old to death back in 2013. He is scheduled to appear back in court July 29 for a pre-trial conference in that case, according to court records.