"In Africa, they used to do this when somebody gets cheated on," Melo, who was previously employed as a cook with the United Nations, told officials at the Manhattan Supreme Court. "You can do this."
According to Melo, the January 2016 incident was set in motion after he came home at about 5 a.m. and found his 24-year-old girlfriend lying in bed asking men about the size of their penises and requesting photographic evidence.
Enraged, Melo then reportedly beat the woman for several hours in front of their two-month-old child before forcing her to step out of their apartment, the New York Daily News reported.
Cellphone footage filmed by Melo shows his partner walking down the street in a towel and boots as he instructs her to "pose with trash." As he continues to call her a "f**king b*tch," Melo then pulls the towel away.
"In order to be forgiven for sexting, she had to do the naked walk," he told court officials, adding that the incident, including the part when he sent the video to all the men she had been texting, was consensual. Oddly, he even sent a screenshot of the penis photos to the woman's mother, according to the New York Post.
Speaking to officials Monday, Melo's former partner said she had no choice but to follow his instructions since he threatened to "push her down the stairs or kill her if she didn't go outside." She later indicated that the couple was splitting up and that she was preparing to move out.
"I was devastated about everything. It was really hard," the woman said in her testimony. "It's still hard to get over it. It's something that I'm going to have to live with forever."
Charged with coercion, assault, aggravated harassment, menacing, criminal obstruction of breathing and endangering the welfare of a child, Melo faces up to seven years in prison if the court finds him guilty.