*Ronald Savage, the man who says hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa sexually abused him at age 15, is speaking out about the experience in a new interview with the New York Daily News.
“I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” said Savage. “I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”
Savage, now a 50-year-old political activist, recalls at least five incidents of sexual abuse, during which he said he felt hypnotized as they occurred. At the time, Bambaataa was 23 and Savage was part of Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation.
As previously reported, Savage said he didn’t go to the police at the time because he was embarrassed and ashamed. Fear also played a role.
“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 said.
He does not want money from Bambaataa. His only goal in coming forward now, he tells the Daily News, is bring awareness to the statute of limitations regarding sexual assault allegations in hopes that it will some day be removed altogether.
“I promised myself before I die, I’m going to let the world know what happened to me,” he told the News. “They need to get rid of the statute of limitations. How can anyone who has not been a victim say when somebody is ready to speak about this?”
Below, Savage details the multiple incidents of Bambaataa’s alleged abuse and how it has damaged his life:
Vivian Kimi Tozaki, Bambaataa’s attorney, has denied Savage’s allegations.
“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,” she told the Daily News, referring to Savage’s self-published book, Impulse Urges and Fantasies. “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.”