Brit who married rapist in jail watches Netflix with him and plans baby names

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    A British woman who flew across the world to marry a convicted rapist revealed they watch Netflix together and discuss potential baby names.

    American Leonel Vasquez is serving 20 years in a US prison but is dreaming of starting a family with his Welsh wife who he bizarrely met behind bars.

    Gemma, from Port Talbot, was introduced to Leonel by his mum who had been giving her Spanish lessons in lockdown.

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    And in December she flew 3,500 away to marry the lag in the jail’s visiting room, despite his abhorrent crime.

    The smitten bride now gets to kiss and hug Vasquez on visits and the pair even watch Stranger Things together at the same time.

    In an extraordinary interview with Pick Me Up magazine, Gemma said: “It’s hard being apart. We watch the same TV series at the same time – our favourites are Stranger Things and America’s Got Talent – or cook the same meals so it’s like we’re eating together.

    “But no matter how long it took, I’d wait for Leo forever.

    “Despite what happened in the past, I’m focused on our future together. Love really can blossom anywhere.”

    And the admin worker said they even spoke about what they might one day name their children.

    Opening up about their time apart, she told the mag: “We dreamed of date nights, holidays and starting a family together – even discussing our favourite baby names.

    “I didn’t know what would happen, but I knew I wanted to be with him.”

    She also said they love the same 90s boy bands and “trashy TV shows” and described being gobsmacked with how much they had in common.

    Their unlikely romance all started when Gemma posted on social media in July 2020 looking for a Spanish teacher.

    That’s when she met Vasquez’ mother who ended up linking them together.

    They began emailing before she first visited him inside his jail in Virginia, US, in April 2022.

    And although he is being punished for a rape conviction, she told The Mirror: “Initially I thought 'oh yes that's a very serious thing to be convicted of'.

    "But I'm not marrying his past and he was very very young when it happened. Plus he's done so much in prison to better himself.

    “I asked him to tell me the whole story on the phone – that was very important to me. I felt very reassured by talking to him about it, and also by his whole family.”

    And in an interview with Pick Me Up she seemed to suggest her husband, who pleaded guilty, should be a free man.

    She said: “I hated thinking of the sort of people Leo was in prison with, but he kept his head down, and knowing he was innocent helped too.”

    And as for forgiveness, she added: “Being a Catholic, we were big on second chances and I thought he deserved one.”

    Vasquez popped the question last July during a phone call with Gemma who said “it felt right” even though it was unconventional.

    The criminal then sent her a ring before she flew over and got married by a celebrant while two guards watched.

    And remembering the special day, she said: “We were allowed to hug, kiss and hold hands, and even shared a first dance with music in our heads.

    “As I swayed gently on the spot, resting my head on my husband’s shoulder, I felt happier than ever.”

    As for what happens next, Gemma added: “Now we’re married, we’re not sure what the future holds.

    “Leo has four years left on his sentence, thanks to time off for good behaviour, but we’re hoping he might get more time off still.”


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