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Afrika Bambaataa Sued for Sexual Abuse and Child Sex Trafficking

The plaintiff, identified as John Doe, was 12-years-old when the alleged abuse began

afrika bombaataa child sex trafficking sexual abuse rape lawsuit sue
Afrika Bombaataa, photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for David Yurman
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    A new lawsuit alleges that Afrika Bambaataa sexually abused and trafficked a 12-year-old boy beginning in 1991 and continuing through 1995. Via Metropolis and Pitchfork, the suit was filed in New York State Supreme Court on August 4th, as part of the 2019 Child Victims Act, which temporarily opened a window for adults to sue over childhood sexual abuses even in cases where the statute of limitations had expired.

    The 64-year-old Afrika Bambaataa, who was born in New York as Lance Taylor, has been accused of sexual misconduct numerous times, with several different now-adult men saying they were molested as teenagers in the 1980s and ’90s. These latest allegations come on behalf of a plaintiff listed as John Doe, and include civil battery, assault, gross negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

    Doe alleges he was repeatedly abused at the public housing project Bronx River Houses, where he and Bambaataa both lived. According to the suit, Bambaataa “eventually began to inappropriately touch [Doe] in his private areas while [Doe] was in [Bambaataa’s apartment].” He and his legal team also claim that the Bambaatta “eventually encouraged [Doe] to watch pornographic videos while in [Bambaataa]’s apartment,” which led to “mutual masturbation… and sodomy.”

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    The sex trafficking allegations suggest that, “[Bambaataa] would transport [Doe] to other locations and offer [him] for sex to other adult men. During said encounters [Bambaataa] would watch as [Doe] was sodomized by other adult men.”

    Doe says he has “suffered physical injury, severe and permanent emotional distress, mental anguish, depression and embarrassment.”

    Zulu Nation, an organization promoting the idea that hip-hop sustains “peace, love, unity and having fun,” is also named as a defendant in the suit. Bambaataa founded Zulu Nation in the 1970s, though he was removed from his leadership position in 2016 when the first allegations of sexual abuse surfaced. “Nothing has changed since 2016 when these decades-ago accusations first surfaced,” the organization said in a statement. “This is a personal matter for Afrika Bambaataa and his lawyers to deal with.”

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    The 2019 Child Victims Act was recently used to sue Bob Dylan over claims that he sexually abused a 12-year-old in 1965, which led to a great deal of scrutiny around Dylan’s movements at the time.

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