Ex-Menudo Singer Says He Was Raped by Father of Menendez Brothers – NBC10 Philadelphia

New evidence could mean a long-shot chance at freedom for the Menendez brothers, who are serving life sentences after being convicted in 1996 of murdering their parents.

An upcoming Peacock docuseries called “Menendez + Menudo: Boys Betrayed” revisits the infamous case, revealing new allegations of sexual assault against the Menendez brothers’ father.

Lyle and Erik Menendez were convicted of murdering their parents, José and Mary Louise, known by “Kitty,” inside their Beverly Hills mansion in 1989. The defense argued that the brothers killed out of fear after threatening to expose their father for years of sexual abuse.

Testimony of sexual abuse was deemed inadmissible in the deciding trial, with the judge citing irrelevance. The brothers, following two hung juries and mistrials, were found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Roy Rosselló, a former member of the 1980s Puerto Rican boy band Menudo, alleged in a clip of the docuseries that aired Tuesday on “Today” that he was raped as a teenager by José Menendez, who became associated with Menudo when he signed them to RCA Records, where he was an executive.

Rosselló said he was also sexually abused by the band’s founder and former manager Edgardo Diaz, and it was through Diaz that he met José Menendez. Rosselló said Diaz once brought him to the Menendez house, where he said José Menendez drugged and raped him. 

“That’s the man here that raped me,” he says in the clip while pointing to a photo of José Menendez. “This guy. That’s the pedophile.”

Menudo was founded in 1977 and was a global sensation as a boy band for decades following a rule Diaz set that once a band member reached the age of 16, they were replaced.

Rosello has previously made accusations against Diaz, the former manager. In 2014 he alleged during an appearance on Brazilian show “Domingo Espectacular” that he and a fellow Menudo member, singer Ricky Martin, had been victims of sexual abuse by Diaz. In a 2022 HBO documentary, “Menudo: Forever Young,” other former members of the band made similar accusations.

Diaz has denied allegations made against him. Martin has never commented publicly on the allegations made by his former bandmates.

Rosselló’s allegations were relayed by phone to the Menendez brothers, who are both incarcerated at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego.

“I feel horrible” Erik Menendez said. “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. And it makes me very sad.”

“It was pretty overwhelming to hear that,” Lyle Menendez said. “We’ve heard rumors that something might have happened with Menudo through the years. It’s a remarkable thing to happen so many decades later… Of course you know that that would have made a difference at trial. Certainly, that would have made an enormous difference because the entire trial centered on the belief about these events.”  

In August of 1989, José was shot six times and Kitty 10 times with a 12-gauge shotgun in the den of their home. At the time of the murders, Lyle, a student at Princeton, and Erik, an aspiring professional tennis player, denied any involvement. The brothers drew scrutiny when they began spending lavishly after their parents’ deaths, with prosecutors later arguing they were seeking access to the family’s $14 million estate.

The trial became a Court TV sensation.

Alan Jackson, a criminal defense attorney, told NBC News that the new allegations provide a “glimmer of hope” for the Menendez brothers to be freed. Jackson said they’d have to file a petition to be reviewed by a superior court judge, who has to grant a new trial that the defense then has to win.

“Hopefully it will make a difference. You would think in a fair world that it would,” Lyle Menendez said in the docuseries, which premieres May 2. “Whether we live in that fair world really, I guess we’ll find out.”

Peacock, TODAY and this television station are all owned by NBC Universal.

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