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An electronic dance music DJ who has toured for years on the festival circuit is now facing a lawsuit filed this week by women who have accused him of grooming them via social media platforms for eventual sex acts in exchange for money while they were underage.
DJ Bassnectar, whose legal name is Lorin Ashton, is accused of sexual grooming and abuse that allegedly took place from 2012 through 2016 in a lawsuit filed on Monday by two women, who are identified as “Rachel” and “Alexis.” The suit, which also names four management companies associated with Ashton, accuses the 43-year-old of “targeting and engaging in commercial sex acts with minors and utilizing his shows and organizations to accomplish the exploitation of young girls for his own sexual gratification."
“Both of these women have bravely come forward to hold Ashton (and the other defendants who allowed this to happen) accountable,” Attorney Alexandria MacMaster told Oxygen.com via email. “Rachel and Alexis hope to prevent this violation from happening to any other young, vulnerable girls in the future. They stand in solidarity with any other survivors who were subject to Ashton’s predatory behavior.”
According to the suit, Ashton, in his mid-30s at the time, would target the underage girls by presenting himself as a peer and advisor on social media, give his contact details, then message them using “secretive messaging apps” to groom them for sex acts while also obtaining explicit photos of them.
In the grooming process, he allegedly asked the girls to watch the Oscar-winning Kevin Spacey film, “American Beauty,” which centers on a middle-aged man’s sexual relationship with an underage teenage girl.
"It was a running joke among those associated with Bassnectar that he would have to find a date at a high school dance," the suit alleges.
The DJ would then fly the girls to meet him at performances, have sex with them, then give them cash, the lawsuit alleges. While in his hotel rooms, he would “demand they shower before they have sex unprotected with him ‘so that they were clean,’” the suit claims.
\"In exchange for the sexual encounters, Bassnectar gave [the minors] cash — in amounts ranging from three-hundred ($300) to one thousand six hundred ($1,600) dollars," the lawsuit states.
An attorney for Ashton refuted the claims made in the lawsuit.
"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,” Mitchell Schuster told Oxygen.com via email.
The accusations against Ashton originally surfaced on social media over the summer as an Instagram account called @evidenceagainstbassnectar, which now has nearly 20,000 followers, first posted on June 28. The torrent of online allegations soon led him to announce that he planned to pause his music career; he called allegations against him “untrue.”
“I am stepping back from my career and I am stepping down from my position of power and privilege in this community because I want to take responsibility and accountability,” Ashton said in a statement on Twitter. “I feel intense compassion for anyone I may have hurt. I truly hope you allow me a chance to work together toward healing.”
The statement came after a wave of backlash to a previous statement he posted on Twitter in which he claimed his “own romantic relationships and interactions have been positive, consensual, legal and loving.”
DJ Bassnectar began his career in the Bay Area in the early 2000s and over the past 20 years began to tour and hit the festival circuit in dance tents and stages at major events like Coachella, Bonaroo, and Lollapalooza. In 2019, he curated his own event, Deja Voom, at the Barcelo Maya Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
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