Woodstock man gets 15-year prison sentence in domestic violence case

Credit: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

A Woodstock man has been sentenced to 40 years, 15 of which will be spent in prison, after a Cherokee County jury convicted him on multiple charges related to domestic violence and cruelty to children, officials announced Monday.

Raphael P. Fraga, 40, was arrested four times within a month between December 2020 and January 2021 after repeatedly assaulting a woman and threatening to kill her, according to a news release.

“In many cases of domestic violence, including this one, victims of abuse are silenced by their abusers. Intimidation, fear and isolation make them afraid to escape the cycle of violence,” Damion Overstreet, who co-prosecuted the case, said in a statement. “We will remain steadfast in our commitment to giving victims of abuse a voice and holding abusers accountable.”

Cherokee sheriff’s deputies were first called to Fraga’s home Dec. 18, 2020, after he threatened suicide, according to the release. Once he was taken to a hospital, the woman told deputies that Fraga had previously threatened murder-suicide and that earlier that day he lit a notebook on fire and threw it on her as she lay in bed, burning a hold in her pants. He then sent her angry text messages and went into a closet, wrapped a belt around his neck and closed the door.

A teenager living in the home witnessed the incident and called 911, the release states. Fraga was arrested and charged with aggravated assault under the Family Violence Act, cruelty to children in the first degree, cruelty to children in the third degree and harassing communications.

Just nine days later, deputies were again called to Fraga’s home, according to the release. This time, he had taken the woman’s phone while she was sleeping and then grabbed her and pulled her downstairs. With no phone, the woman was unable to call 911 or communicate with her daughter, who was not home at the time.

The child, whose age was not disclosed, returned home and 911 was called, according to the release. The phone was later found hidden in the refrigerator.

Fraga was again arrested, this time charged with false imprisonment and criminal trespass, the news release states. He was granted bond just three days later on Dec. 30 and ordered to have no direct or indirect contact with the victims.

By Jan. 14, 2021, Fraga posted bond and reunited with the woman, a violation of the conditions of his bond, the release states. Within hours, 911 dispatchers received a third report of domestic violence at the same home.

Cherokee County deputies and Woodstock police responded and learned that Fraga became angry with the woman, slapping her face and then choking her, according to the release. They found him hiding in the next-door neighbor’s attic, and he was arrested following a brief standoff.

After his arrest, investigators found a video taken by him the same day in which he pointed a knife toward the woman as she sat on the floor, trapped and fearing he might follow through on his threats to kill her, according to the release. The video became a key piece of evidence in the case.

Fraga was again charged with aggravated assault under the Family Violence Act and false imprisonment, as well as family violence battery and violating a family violence order, the release states.

Just over a year later, on Feb. 2, a jury found Fraga guilty.

Upon his release from prison, he will face several conditions of his probation, which include receiving a mental health evaluation and treatment, completing a family violence intervention program and having no contact with the victims, the release states.

“This sentence ensures that the woman abused by this defendant has the opportunity to heal from the physical and emotional abuse she suffered. She is no longer trapped, no longer under his control, and no longer helpless. Her pleas for help have been answered,” District Attorney Shannon Wallace said in a statement. “And this cycle of violence has ended.”