Ronald Savage says he was only 15 years old when the “founder” of hip-hop, Afrika Bambaataa, first sexually assaulted him. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Savage, a now 50-year-old New York political activist, tearfully recalled the incidents he alleged and spoke publicly about how he wants to help change statute of limitation laws to help survivors of sexual assault get justice.
“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 told the paper that he didn't go to the police at the time because he was embarrassed and ashamed. He said there were at least five incidents, during which he said he felt hypnotized as they occurred. At the time, Bambaataa was 23 years old and Savage was part of Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation.
Vivian Kimi Tozaki, Bambaataa’s attorney, denied the 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.”
Savage told the newspaper his life goal now is to change the statute of limitations regarding sexual assault allegations, and he said he hopes that by finally speaking out, it'll give others the courage to do so as well.
“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?”
Editor’s note: The video contains graphic detail of the alleged sexual assault Savage says he suffered.