A woman is seeking damages against the late singer Rick James after alleging he raped her in 1979, when she was just 15.
As the Associated Press reports, the lawsuit was brought under New York’s Child Victims Act – a newly introduced piece of legislation that extends the statute of limitations for child sex abuse survivors.
In an affidavit filed on February 13, the woman explains that he was attacked by James in the spring of 1979, when the ‘Super Freak’ singer visited a youth detention centre where was living at the time.
She claims that James was introduced to the girls living at the home and took an immediate interest in her.
“I did not know who Rick James was and shrugged and said I don’t know him,” she wrote.
“Almost immediately, Rick James was very suggestive and inappropriate towards me. He made me feel very uncomfortable.”
After the initial exchange, she said she was attacked by James in her bedroom.
“As I was laying on my belly on my bed,” she wrote, “Rick James came into my bedroom and swiftly laid on top of me.
“He grabbed my hair and pushed my head into the pillow. I tried to fight him off, but he told me, ‘Shut up and quit moving or I’ll cut you.’ He violently ripped off my underwear and proceeded to violent rape me and ejaculate inside of me.”
The singer then allegedly threatened that if she ever told anyone, he “would know where to find” her.
She is seeking damages in the region of $50 million and claims that the alleged incident is responsible for years of physical, psychological, and emotional injury.
The woman also says her struggles with alcohol abuse and drug use, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, stem directly from the incident.
James was previously convicted of assaulting two women. In 1991, he was arrested for imprisoning and torturing a 24-year-old woman over three days at his home in the Hollywood Hills.
A second assault occurred in 1992 in a hotel room while James was out on bail, and he was subsequently sentenced to over two years in state prison.
In 2002, James was also under investigation for the alleged sexual assault of a woman at his home. He died in 2004.