Afrika Bambaataa sued for child sex trafficking

The lawsuit alleges that Bambaataa sexually abused and trafficked a 12-year-old boy from 1991-1995

Content warning: This story contains discussion and descriptions of sexual abuse.

Afrika Bambaataa is being sued for child sex trafficking by a man who alleges the hip-hop pioneer abused and trafficked him when he was 12.

As per Metropolis, the lawsuit was filed in the New York Supreme Court under the state’s Child Victims Act in August, on behalf of the plaintiff John Doe. It lists assault, civil battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and gross negligence as causes of action.

The lawsuit alleges that Doe was “repeatedly sexually abused and sex trafficked” by Lance Taylor (Bambaataa’s birth name) for four years, from 1991 to 1995. According to court documents, the plaintiff and Bambaataa both lived at the Bronx River Houses public housing project during the time of the abuse.

It states that 12-year-old Doe was given access to the home gym in Bambaataa’s apartment, where the musician “would comment about Plaintiff’s muscular body and would touch Plaintiff on the shoulders, biceps, and torso”. This allegedly progressed to instances where Bambaataa would “inappropriately touch Plaintiff in his private areas”, encourage “mutual masturbation” while watching pornographic videos together, and later “progressed into sodomy”.

The lawsuit further alleges that Doe became a victim of sex trafficking, where Bombaataa would transport him to other locations and “offer Plaintiff for sex to other adult men”.

Doe, who is now in his forties, claims that he has “suffered physical injury, severe and permanent emotional distress, mental anguish, depression and embarrassment” due to the abuse, and hasn’t been able to keep a steady job.

NME has reached out to John Doe’s lawyers Tanner & Ortega and Bambaataa’s representatives for comment.

Zulu Nation and Universal Zulu Nation, founded by Bambaataa in the ’70s, are also named as defendants, though they cut ties with the hip-hop artist in 2016 due to other allegations of sexual abuse.

Taylor denied the allegations made against him by Ronald Savage at the time, with Savage claiming the DJ had forced him to perform oral sex when he was 13 or 14.

Three other men also came forward in 2016 with similar claims, telling the New York Daily News they’d also been molested by Bambaataa as children.

Representatives for Zulu Nation provided a statement on the lawsuit to Metropolis, saying: “Nothing has changed since 2016 when these decades ago accusations first surfaced.

“This is a personal matter for Afrika Bambaataa and his lawyers to deal with and has absolutely nothing to do with the 10 year long UZN-DOCA mission, programs and projects which continue in the revolutionary legacy of both The Black Panther Party & The Young Lords Party to ‘Serve The People, Body & Soul.'”

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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