Bello Sánchez, who competed on the 22nd cycle of America's Next Top Model, recently opened up about being raped in a Paris nightclub. As People reports, the model claimed in a self-taped video that he was raped in Le Rouge nightclub on January 30, in the middle of Paris Fashion Week. Following the incident, Sánchez sought help from the Paris police. Allegedly, authorities did not properly investigate the allegations.
"Why did [the police] not look around in that moment as soon as they came when I told them? Why didn’t they do that? Why didn’t they ask questions to the security guards? They were of no help," Sánchez says in the video.
The police also did not immediately administer a rape kit. Sánchez claims that an advocacy group helped him obtain a rape kit from a reluctant police force. (Sánchez did not name the advocacy group.)
"When [the group and I] called, they were trying to blame it on me. Like, 'Well, why'd he take that long to get a rape kit?'" Sánchez said. "It doesn't matter. I want one now." He claimed it took 72 hours after the incident to obtain a complete rape kit.
Unfortunately, it comes as no surprise that Sánchez struggled with the police after a rape. This is far from the first instance to indicate a lack of rigor when it comes to rape and sexual assault allegations by government officials. It's well-documented that rape kits in America are backlogged — celebrities like Erykah Badu and Joe Biden have steadfastly advocated for backlogged kits to get tested. In addition, allegations like Sánchez's don't often receive the attention they deserve. (This should be accepted as fact by now, but if you need proof, have a look at the list of sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, Casey Affleck, and our current president.)
Sánchez believes that the police might have treated him differently if it weren't for his appearance. The model and fashion writer is both a person of color and markedly androgynous.
"If I was a little blonde white girl in Paris saying that happened to me things would have been different,” he stated. "I think my skin tone, I think my gender, my sexuality, how I look, I think all those things had something to do with why I was not given the proper respect that I deserved. That’s what I believe.”
Sánchez is currently a working model as well as "top cop" for Us Weekly's Fashion Police.