May 18, 2021
In March, a New York-based attorney issued letters on behalf of 11 alleged victims to state and federal prosecutors and attorneys general in Georgia and California. The letters called for criminal investigations on behalf of the victims, citing “eerily similar events of sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, terroristic threats, and false imprisonment” at the hands of rapper T.I. and his wife, Tiny (legal names Clifford and Tameka Harris).
Yesterday, the LAPD confirmed to various media outlets that an active investigation has been opened following two new allegations from victims of the husband and wife duo. In April, a woman identified only as Jane Doe filed a complaint to the department concerning an alleged 2005 incident. The woman says she was drugged and sexually assaulted by the pair in their hotel room, with Tiny allegedly sitting on the victim’s back while T.I. engaged in a sex act.
Jane Doe’s complaint states that she later vomited, blacked out, and awoke with “burning, soreness, and itching to her vagina.” The victim also states she believes the Patrón given to her by Tiny earlier in the night at a club was drugged.
“Victim believes there was something in Tiny’s drink that made her blackout because she could not have blacked out from the two drinks she had that evening,” the police report states.
A second accuser, identified as Rachelle Jenks, filed a report related to a similar incident with the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD) earlier this month. However, the Las Vegas Police Department has yet to confirm if an investigation was opened. In the complaint, Jenks alleges Tiny approached her at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport in August 2010, inviting her to a party at the Venetian Hotel.
Similar to the Jane Doe complaint, Jenks alleges she was given a white powdered drug and spiked shot of Patrón before being sexually assaulted by the couple. In the report, Jenks states she was unable to give consent while being drugged and under the influence.
According to the police report, “Continuing into the night, Jenks states there was an orgy occurring in the room with multiple girls coming in and out. During this time, Tameka asked Jenks to perform oral sex on her, which she did do. Clifford also had vaginal intercourse with her and ejaculated into a condom during the intercourse.”
Additionally, Jenks alleges T.I. later trafficked her to various locations, including Los Angeles and Miami. She also alleges in the complaint that T.I. forced himself on her inside his tour bus.
In her written statement to police, Jenks describes the tour bus assault:
“I was having screaming fits. I was crying and T.I. forced me to have sex with him on his tour bus in LA.”
Jenks further alleges that T.I. took her I.D. and forced her to travel to Florida against her own wishes. “When we arrived to Miami … I was forced to have sex with multiple women that I did not know,” she wrote.
Jenks was eventually able to leave, but in her written statement to police she declares that, as a result of the drugging, sexual assaults, and trafficking, her “life has never been the same. I have been sick and confused.”
Both T.I. and Tiny Harris have denied all allegations. USA Today reported that Steve Sadow, an attorney for the couple, confirmed the Harrises “have not spoken to or been contacted” by any members of law enforcement.
“It appears the LAPD ‘accuser’ has chosen once again to remain anonymous, thereby preventing us from being in a position to disprove or refute her allegations – or even examine them,” Sadow added, according to USA Today. “Meanwhile, although we now appear for the first time to have the name of an ‘accuser’ who supposedly filed a police report with LVPD, we have absolutely zero details about her or her claim.”
Of the initial 11 anonymous claims that came to light in March, USA Today reported that one of the most “jarring” came from a woman who detailed an encounter with the couple in Miami when she was 20. She stated T.I. forced her to swallow a pill and take a powdered substance, which left her drugged and unable to consent. The victim alleges Tiny then proceeded to engage in sexual intercourse while she was under the influence of the substance, according to USA Today.
Another anonymous woman, also 20 at the time, alleged she was drugged and raped by T.I. and a male friend at an undisclosed Miami location in May 2010. The victim’s attorney told USA Today he has received medical records related to the incident.
Additionally, USA Today reported that a third accuser who came forward in April said she was sex trafficked by the couple in Nevada, California, and Florida.
In March, an attorney representing the victims stated that all 11 allege “forced drugging, kidnapping, rape, and intimidation in at least two states, including California and Georgia” against the Harrises, as well as members of their inner circle. According to USA Today, the attorney has also been in contact with witnesses of the alleged abuse.
“These criminal allegations span over 15 years of methodical, sadistic abuse against women in various venues throughout the country,” a statement from the attorney to USA Today read on March 1. “These individual claims paint eerily consistent allegations of women prior to or upon immediately entering (the Harrises’) home, hotel, or tour bus (who) were coerced by Tiny to ingest drugs or unknowingly administered drugs to impair the victims’ ability to consent to subsequent vile sexual acts.”
Though the allegations made by the 13 victims against T.I. and Tiny Harris have yet to be proven in either criminal or civil court, the details in the individual accounts are strikingly similar. As we’ve noted in various blogs examining sexual assault, many predators establish a pattern of grooming their victims as a pathway to commit such heinous acts. In the case of T.I. and Tiny, victims are allegedly plied with drugs and alcohol before being sexually assaulted. In cases involving individuals of authority (teachers, clergy, coaches, etc.), there is often a pattern of using that position to establish trust with both the victim and the victim’s parents.
Furthermore, sexual predators are known to repeat their offenses over the course of several years, or even decades. According to police and media reports, T.I. and Tiny have engaged in wanton sexual abuse, the drugging of victims, and human trafficking for over 15 years. While the states identified in the reports include California, Nevada, Florida, and Georgia, it’s not unlikely to conclude that if these allegations are indeed true, there may be many additional victims from various states who have yet to come forward.
Survivors of sexual abuse have various legal options depending on how long ago and in which state the crime occurred. Before delving into those options, let’s clarify that there are two different avenues for sexual assault crimes – criminal and civil lawsuits.
Criminal charges are brought by the state, and any sentence would lead to jail time and/or a fine levied by the district attorney’s office. Civil charges have to be pursued by the survivor of the abuse, and rather than jail time a defendant would face a financial damages settlement or verdict (paid to the survivor). Depending on the state in which the crime occurred, the statute of limitations may determine whether or not a civil claim is valid.
In California, for crimes occurring on or after January 1, 2019, the civil statute of limitations (SOL) for sexual assault claims is 10 years from the date of the incident (or three years from the date the survivor discovers that an injury – such as PTSD – resulted from the abuse). Crimes occurring before 2019 have a much shorter SOL, however some exceptions may apply. While there is no criminal statute of limitations on rape cases, the civil statute of 10 years is currently in place (although there is a movement to end the SOL on civil rape claims that is generating attention in the state of California).
If you or someone you know were sexually assaulted in California (by T.I., Tiny Harris, or any individual/institution), you may bring a civil lawsuit seeking to recover financial damages. Survivors are encouraged to file a claim as soon as possible to ensure that the SOL has not expired, and to preserve key evidence, such as witness statements, medical records, etc. If you’re concerned about the SOL deadline, an attorney from our Sex Crimes Division can help you. Call 818-322-4056 to speak with one of our dedicated professionals.
One of the most important points we at Dordulian Law Group (DLG) try to convey to survivors of sexual assault who may wish to file a civil lawsuit is that consent is always mandatory. Regardless of the circumstances:
… consent is always mandatory.
And if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the law clearly states that you are not able to give consent. Furthermore, consent must be granted each and every time. As DLG’s Founder and President, Sam Dordulian, has pointed out in previous blogs, there is a widely misunderstood notion that once you give consent, you’re no longer able to decline someone’s sexual advances. That could not be further from the truth.
“Consent must be given on a case-by-case basis,” says Dordulian. “Giving consent once does not grant a predator license to take advantage of you in the future. Just because you gave consent and engaged in intercourse with someone yesterday, that doesn’t mean you’re no longer able to say ‘no’ tomorrow.”
Accordingly, if you’ve been in a situation where you did not give consent, but were unable to stop an individual from proceeding with a sex act, that officially constitutes assault, and you are well within your rights to file a civil lawsuit against that person.
At DLG, we’ve successfully handled difficult cases involving former partners and intimate acquaintances, leading to multi-million dollar settlements. If you’d like to speak with a member of our Sex Crimes Division, reach out to us online or call 818-322-4056.
DLG’s Sex Crimes Division is comprised of a team of professionals that have dedicated their lives to helping survivors of sexual assault. Our SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice Experts) features four tiers of all-encompassing support designed to meet all needs of survivors when pursuing a civil lawsuit.
“Survivors need more than just expert legal representation,” says Sam Dordulian. As a former sex crimes prosecutor and Deputy District Attorney for L.A. County, Dordulian has worked with survivors for decades. He created the SAJE Team to help survivors address all needs that may arise throughout the legal process.
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
If you’re a sexual assault survivor, don’t put your civil lawsuit in the hands of just any firm. Choose the DLG Advantage that includes four-tiered, all-encompassing legal representation and support. We will ensure your case is handled properly and you receive the individualized attention and care you deserve.
With a 98% success rate and over $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts recovered for our clients, DLG is the best sexual assault firm in California. Contact us today to file a claim and take the first step towards justice.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.