Bassnectar slapped with human trafficking and sexual abuse lawsuit [UPDATED]
Photo credit: Kris Connor/FilmMagic.
The plantiffs are also seeking damages from companies like Redlight Management and C3 Presents.
Roughly a year ago, Bassnectar was forced into retirement over multiple sexual assault allegations. The accusations, which snowballed into more allegations of financial abuse and creative/intellectual property abuse, led to a charge of “guilty by social media jury” and a subsequent cancellation of the former star-powered artist who routinely preached love and acceptance above all else. Now, all of that seems to be the least of Lorin Ashton’s worries as the San Jose-based retiree has been slapped with two serious civil counts that could lead to criminal charges down the line.
First reported an hour ago by EDM.com, the suit was filed today, April 5, by Philadelphia attorneys Brian Kent, Stewart Ryan, and Alexandria MacMaster of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP and Nashville attorney Phillip Miller of Miller Law Offices.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs aren’t solely going after Lorin Ashton for “engaging in a human trafficking venture” and “manufacturing and possessing child pornography.” They are attempting to hit all of the companies involved in allowing Ashton’s alleged sexual abuse to persist over the years. These companies include Amorphous Music, Bassnectar Touring, Inc., Redlight Management, C3 Presents, and Interactive Giving Fund (formerly Bassnectar’s charity organization, BeInteractive, which offered free therapy to his followers).
“We have seen a true reckoning in recent years of powerful individuals and institutions finally being held to account for years of sexual abuse against adults and minors. But we have only begun to scratch the surface of how these influential figures and entities can go on for years committing abuses without being held responsible. This lawsuit is about seeking justice not just against Bassnectar but against the corporations that cooperate in and help facilitate the abuses he is alleged to have committed.”– Brian Kent of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two female plaintiffs who first came out on the @evidenceagainstbassnectar Instagram account a year ago. The two females’ attorneys stated they were “sexually abused as minors,” citing accusations of “grooming, abuse, and trafficking.” Bassnectar’s attorney, Michelle Schuster, has since responded on the matter, telling Vulture, “These outrageous claims—which were clearly designed for the media, rather than for the courts—are completely without merit, and we eagerly look forward to proving so.”
This story is still developing. Conscious Electronic has reached out to Laffey, Bucci & Kent LLP for comment, so please stay tuned for more.
[UPDATE: Monday, April 5, 5:35pm CST:] After reaching out for comment, the Philadelphia-based law firm gave CE access to the lawsuit, which is public domain information. According to the suit, there are several revealing charges made against Ashton that go into graphic detail:
- “After performances, Bassnectar would invite these underage girls to his hotel room and demand that the girls shower so that they were ‘clean.’ He would then have sex with them, requiring the sex to be unprotected, without a condom, and would provide large sums of cash and other items of value in exchange. Bassnectar would also require these underage girls to take sexually explicit photographs of themselves with their cell phones and send them to him in violation of child pornography statute 18 U.S. § 2252.” (13-14)
- “In an effort to groom Plaintiffs, Bassnectar asked about personal details of Plaintiffs’ lives and provided advice, including encouraging them to watch “American Beauty,” a movie about an older man having a relationship with a young girl. Bassnectar referenced American Beauty at his shows too. He used the visual of the scene with the actress laying in rose petals and had rose petals fall from the sky at one of his New Years Eve shows.” (37)
- “The Bassnectar Companies fund and support Bassnectar’s illegal sex trafficking venture, and Bassnectar uses the Bassnectar Companies’ brand, resources, and promotional events to recruit, lure, entice, and/or groom his victims and force or coerce them, or knowing that the victim has not attained the age of eighteen years, into engaging in commercial sex acts.” (44)
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