A lawyer representing a group of women claiming they were sexually abused and assaulted by rapper T.I. and his wife, R&B singer Tamkea Harris, sought out law enforcement authorities in California and Georgia to launch a criminal investigation against the couple.
New York-based lawyer Tyrone A. Blackburn will represent 11 people who say they were victimized by the couple. Four women accuse the pair of drugging and sexually assaulting them, including two instances of rape that were said to have occurred in Georgia and California, The New York Times reports.
In a press release sent to NewsOne, Blackburn said that 30 women have contacted his office, accusing the couple and members of their entourage of “forced drugging, kidnapping, rape, and intimidation.” The alleged incidents took place from 2005 to about 2017.
“These criminal allegations span over fifteen years of methodical, sadistic abuse against women in various venues throughout the country,” the statement reads. “These individual claims paint eerily consistent allegations of women prior to or upon immediately entering T&T’s home, hotel, or tour bus were coerced by Tiny to ingest drugs or unknowingly administered drugs to impair the victims’ ability to consent to subsequent vile sexual acts.”
Blackburn sent letters to the Georgia US Attorney in the Northern District, the California U.S. Attorney in the Central District, State Attorney Generals of California and Georgia, and the Los Angeles District Attorney Office. He also requests that a criminal probe be opened to examine Georgia’s Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), Georgia’s Rape, Kidnapping, RICO, and Terroristic Threats Statues.
In late January several women came on social media forward accusing the couple of sexual harassment and assault, including members of their inner circle of aiding and abetting, but the accusations were quickly refuted by T.I. in a video posted to Instagram. Production for their VH1 show “T.I. And Tiny: Friends And Family Hustle” has been put on hold until findings for the investigation has been reached.
“We fully expect that if these claims are thoroughly and fairly investigated, no charges will be forthcoming,” Steve Sadow, an attorney for the couple said in a statement published in the Times. “These allegations are nothing more than the continuation of a sordid shakedown campaign that began on social media and now attempts to manipulate the press and misuse the justice system.”
In support of the alleged victims and in lifting up Black women who survived sexual assault the #MeToo movement, Time’s Up and the National Women’s Law Center released a statement in support of the women.
“The level of violence that has occurred against Black survivors for so long demands stories and headlines that center them across all media,” the letter states. “We are carrying the emotional weight of this news and know that we are reliving a collective trauma akin to the exposing of [Bill] Cosby and R Kelly.”
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