| Crime |

Fort Lauderdale Man Raped his Mother Before Killing Her, Say Prosecutors

Gerard Lopes Belmonte raped his mother before killing her.

That's what prosecutors in his case are alleging, citing DNA tests that reveal that Belmonte's semen was found in his mother, Natalie Belmonte's, body.

Gerard was arrested and charged with murdering his mother two years ago.

But it wasn't until a court hearing on Wednesday that it was revealed that he killed Natalie to cover up having raped her.

According to the report, Assistant State Attorney Adriana Alcalde says that this was the clear reason why Belmonte murdered his mother.

Natalie, who was Gerard's adoptive mother and first cousin, had vanished following a party she and Gerard attended in Pembroke Pines in July 2011.

The following morning, he told family members that Natalie had disappeared. Police eventually found that her purse, cell phone, and keys were still in the house.

Natalie's decomposing body was discovered three days later. She had been dumped in a wooded area.

Eventually, investigators were able to find witnesses who reported seeing blood-stained sheets being carried away by someone from a dumpster.

Police soon found surveillance footage of Belmonte putting Natalie's body in the trunk of her Lexus.

Belmonte was arrested and charged for her murder, as well as charged for robbing her of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry.

Gerard Belmonte has a sketchy past, as well as mental-health issues. Shortly before the crime, he had been in jail for an unrelated incident. According to one report, he had told his fellow Broward County Jail inmates he had fantasies of killing his mother.

On Wednesday, Belmonte's defense argued that he and Natalie had a consensual sexual relationship.

"We have 7,000 text messages between the two of them, and there is not one iota of evidence that supports the defense's contention that this was a consensual sexual relationship," prosecutors told Broward Circuit Judge Matthew Destry. "The idea that he would now besmirch his mother's name is offensive."

But Natalie's sister, Michaela Teixeira, who took the stand for the prosecution, testified that the defense's argument was false.

"There's absolutely no way she had a consensual sexual relationship with her son," she said during a tearful testimony.

The judge ruled that the DNA evidence found by investigators would be allowed in the trial.

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