FALL RIVER — A Fall River man who was already on probation when he was arrested again on March 1 has been sentenced to serve an additional two years in state prison for violating his probation.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, Matthew Rocha, 34, was already on probation related to a 2015 conviction for robbing and kidnapping a 79-year-old woman at knifepoint in Fall River when he was arrested by Fall River Police for a February incident involving his girlfriend.

The D.A.’s Office said the girlfriend called her friend in hysterics on February 28, stating that Rocha “choked her and messed up her face.” She also said Rocha begged her not to call the police. The friend contacted Fall River Police and told her everything the victim had told her, including her location.

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When police arrived, the victim was uncooperative and refused to give a full statement; however, police documented and photographed her injuries, and that documentation along with a recording of the friend’s 911 call was used as evidence against Rocha, who was arrested the day after the incident. The judge sentenced him to two years in state prison for violating his probation. Rocha was also on probation from a case in Rhode Island as well.

"Despite being on probation for assaulting a 79-year-old woman at knifepoint, the defendant punched and strangled his girlfriend, causing injury to her,” District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III said. “Unfortunately the victim would not cooperate with our office. However, the 911 tape and other evidence helped establish that the defendant assaulted her. He will at least be off the streets for two years.”

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