County settles sex-abuse lawsuit implicating Bey
By Chris Metinko, Chauncey Bailey Project
Alameda County has settled a nearly four-year-old lawsuit brought by three women who claimed the county did nothing to stop former Your Black Muslim Bakery head Yusuf Bey from allegedly sexually assaulting and abusing them as minors after placing them in his home.
The three women — whose names were not used in the lawsuit because they were under 18 years old at the time of the alleged abuse — filed the lawsuit in July 2003 in Alameda County Superior Court.
The lawsuit claimed county social workers missed glaring problems with the girls who were in the care of a Yusuf Bey’s wife, Nora — including when the three started getting pregnant and having babies. The girls said they did not tell social workers Bey was the father because they feared him.
The county settled the lawsuit — which initially sought $10 million in damages — for $188,000, which included attorney fees, in February. The county had investigated the women’s allegations after they filed a $10 million claim against the county in January 2003, but the county Board of Supervisors denied the women’s claims three months later.
At the time the civil suit was filed, Bey also was facing criminal charges in Alameda County Superior Court of raping a minor. Bey died of cancer in 2003 while facing those charges.
According to the lawsuit against the county, two of the woman are sisters and were 10 and 12 years old when county foster care workers sent them to live with Bey and his wife in 1978. Bey regularly raped them, defecated on them and forced them to drink his urine, while continually threatening to kill them if they ever told, according to the suit. The third woman was a 13-year-old ward of the court and was being watched over by a social worker when she got a job in 1994 at Oakland’s Your Black Muslim Bakery. The sisters gave birth to four children. Paternity tests showed at least one was Bey’s, according to the lawsuit.
According to the suit, the father of two of the girls took them away from Bey early on and moved them to Lake Tahoe. But when Bey found out, Alameda County Social Services returned the girls to Bey.
The third woman in the lawsuit contends she was raped by Bey a week after taking a job in the bakery in 1994. Bey threatened to kill the 13-year-old girl if she reported the assault, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit — which was filed against Bey, Your Black Muslim Bakery, the Bey Muslim Organization, Nora Bey, Freida Bey, three Alameda County employees and the county itself — claims that Alameda County “was aware that all plaintiffs were working at defendant Your Black Muslim Bakery when they were minors and were brutally being raped and otherwise sexually abused at the hands of the owner defendant Yusuf Bey. The defendant county failed to protect any of the plaintiffs by investigating the situation at the Bakery and/or removing them from the bakery.”
Attorneys involved in the suit did not return calls for comment Thursday.