August 2, 1991: Rick James Arrested For Imprisoning And Torturing A Woman

The “King of Funk” and his girlfriend tied a woman up, burned her with a crack pipe, and sexually abused her. 

By Gina Tron

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On August 2, 1991, singer Rick James was arrested along with girlfriend for imprisoning and torturing a 24-year-old woman. 

The “King of Funk” was 43 at the time and his girlfriend, Tanya Anne Hijazi, was 21. They were accused of torturing Frances Alley by burning her with the hot end of a hot cocaine pipe over a three-day period at the singer’s Hollywood Hills home.

Rick James and his girlfriend met the victim at a party. She was unemployed and they offered to help her out at their home.

The incident happened a few weeks before the arrest, in mid July. James threatened Alley with a gun and told her he would shoot her if she tried to flee. He and his girlfriend then tied her up and burned her about 20 times with the crack pipe. They also sexually abused her and forced her to smoke crack. 

After she was released from the “Super Freak” singer’s Hollywood Hills home, she went to Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Her burn injuries alerted hospital workers to call the police. She was released after treatment, officers said.

In 1993, while James was out on bail for the August 2 incident, James assaulted music executive Mary Sauger in West Hollywood. She said she met James and his girlfriend Hijazi for a business meeting and that the two kidnapped and beat her for 20 hours. 

James served a three-year sentence at California's Folsom State Prison for the two incidents. Rick James died of cardiac failure on August 6, 2004 at the age of 56.


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