New York activist who alleges Afrika Bambaataa molested him calls for law changes

'I think the statute of limitations is unfair for victims' - Ronald Savage

The New York democratic activist who alleges Afrika Bambaataa molested him 36 years ago has called for changes to state laws around statutes of limitation in child abuse cases.

New York laws bar victims from taking either criminal or civil action in child sex abuse cases after their 23rd birthday, and Ronald Savage – who is now 50 – alleges that Bambaataa sexually assaulted him when he was 15. Bambaataa has filed a defamation case in response to Savage’s allegation, claiming that Savage has made up the allegations in an attempt to sell more copies of the book containing the allegation, titled Impulse, Urges and Fantasies..

Speaking to the New York Daily News, Savage commented on the mental pressure he says prevented him from reporting the hip-hop star earlier, and how he alleges Bambaataa’s actions impacted on his life. Savage was connected with Bambaataa’s hip-hop organisation Zulu Nation as a teenager.

“I think the statute of limitations is unfair for victims,” Savage said. “It took me all of these years to speak about this. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed.”

View Savage’s interview with the paper below:

“People don’t understand that you are scared. You’re scared if you tell on this person, what are they going to do to you, what you’re going to do to your family,” Savage continues. “I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”

Afrika Bambaataa’s lawyer responded to the allegations last week, saying:

“Defamatory statements were published seeking to harm my client’s reputation so as to lower him in the estimation of the community while deterring others from associating or dealing with him. The statements show a reckless disregard for the truth, were published with knowledge of their falsity, and are being made by a lesser-known person seeking publicity.”