Pioneering Hip Hop artist Afrika Bambaataa has reportedly disappeared amid the numerous sexual assault allegations against him.
According to AllHipHop,an alleged victim identified as John Doe and his attorney are attempting to serve Bambaataa with a lawsuit, but he can’t be located. Process server Calvin Nelson, who went to Bambaataa’s last known address in The Bronx, made contact with an unidentified woman who claimed she’d never heard of him. She also said he never lived at that address.
Nelson explained, “A woman answered the door (brown skin-head scarf-58+-5’5-125lbs) said she lived at this address for 15 years and never heard of Lance Taylor -Afrika Bambaataa or the Zulu Nation.”
Afrika Bambaataa’s failure to respond to the suit could have detrimental consequences. Doe needed the court’s permission to proceed anonymously with the civil suit, which is seeking damages for “assault and gross negligence, physical injury, severe and permanent emotional distress, mental anguish, depression, and embarrassment.”
Since Bambaataa nor his legal team have replied to the civil suit, Judge Deborah A. Kaplan granted Doe’s request.
In 2016, Bambaataa resigned from his position with the Universal Zulu Nation amid allegations of child sexual abuse stretching back to the 1970s and has since retreated from the public eye.
Doe filed the suit in September and claimed Bambaataa sex trafficked him from 1991 to 1995, beginning when the accuser was 12 years old. Doe alleged Bambaataa repeatedly “sexually abused and sex trafficked” him at the Bronx River Houses public housing project, where they both lived. Doe and his lawyers allege Bambaataa “eventually began to inappropriately touch [Doe] in his private areas while [Doe] was in [Bambaataa’s apartment].”
They also say he “eventually encouraged [Doe] to watch pornographic videos while in [Bambaataa]’s apartment,” which “progressed to mutual masturbation … and sodomy.” They claim he became a victim of sex trafficking as [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.”
Afrika Bambaataa has maintained his innocence over the last five years. His attorney, Vivian K. Tozaki, issued a statement at the time that stated, “Recently, 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. Valuable cultural resources, such as Afrika Bambaataa’s good name and time, should never be used to assist a mediocre person’s asinine quest for social media popularity and superficial gain.”
Doe filed his lawsuit under the New York’s Child Victims Act (CVA), which passed in 2019. The law opened a one-time, one-year lookback window for survivors to file civil lawsuits seeking compensation for the sexual abuse they suffered as children.