Chauncey Bailey Project

Reports to authorities of abuse

By Mary Fricker, Chauncey Bailey Project

Women who claimed to be victims of Yusuf Bey’s sexual abuse, or their families, said they made at least 10 complaints that were ignored by authorities. The reports include:

March 1980: The father of Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 became worried that Bey might be molesting Doe 1. He asked a social worker at the Alameda County Social Services Agency to investigate. She reported his concerns to Oakland police, who said they needed more information but it sounded like a family dispute, according to the social worker’s court testimony in 2005. The social worker interviewed the girls, who denied they were being abused. The girls later said they lied because they were afraid of Bey. Their father decided to leave them with Bey, the social worker told the court in 2005.


Investigative Report: Women of the Bakery

Women, Part I

Main story: One police officer cracked case

Second story: Fear kept abuse victims from seeking help

List: Reports to authorities

Women, Part II

Main story: Testimony reveals life of abuse

List: A chronology of abuse

List: Profiles of abuse


July 1980: Jane Doe 1 told the social worker that the people at the bakery beat her and her sister, made them work long hours at the bakery and didn’t let them go to school, she testified in 2005. The social worker said Doe 1 only complained about long work hours. The worker discussed the complaint with her superior who said the county had no jurisdiction because the court had appointed Nora Bey to be the girls’ guardian and Nora had the right to decide how to raise the children.

January to June 1982: Jane Doe 1’s stepmother saw that 13-year-old Doe 1 was pregnant and asked the county social services agency to investigate who was the father. Social workers visited the child, who told them the father was a boy she knew, according to the Alameda County counsel and Doe 1. Doe 1 later testified that she lied about the father at Yusuf Bey’s direction.

March 10, 1994: The stepmother of Jane Does 1 and 2 reported to Oakland police that Yusuf Bey hit her in the face when she confronted him about an incident involving their daughter. She requested the report for documentation only, according to the police report of the incident.

May 24, 1995: The stepmother of Does 1 and 2 reported to the Alameda County child abuse hot line that Yusuf Bey had been sexually abusing one of his sons. The boy was interviewed by Child Protective Services and the police, and he denied any abuse, according to a police report.

March 27, 1996: A probation officer for Jane Doe 3 reported to police that Doe 3 claimed Yusuf Bey raped her while she worked at the bakery in 1994 and 1995, when she was 13 to 15 years old. The girl’s mother was fearful, and 12 days later police got a letter from an attorney saying the child and her mother did not want to talk to the police, according to the police report of the incident.

No record was found of the following complaints:

About 1984: A teenage girl was discovered in Yusuf Bey’s room one night, and someone filed charges against Bey in that case, Doe 1 testified in 2005. All of Bey’s women were talking about it at the time, she said.

1986: Doe 1 reported to police that Joseph Stephens — Yusuf Bey’s birth name — had physically attacked her, she testified in 2005. She said she did not press charges.

About 1991: Doe 2 called the Oakland Police Department for help when Yusuf Bey’s men at the bakery were beating up a friend, she testified in 2005. Police did not respond, she said.

August 1994: Doe 3 told a social worker that Yusuf Bey made her come to his room and do things that weren’t in her job description when she was working at his bakery, according to testimony she gave in 2005. She claimed in her testimony that the social worker told her Bey was too powerful to go up against. An attorney representing the social worker said he doubted the conversation ever occurred.

Sources: Oakland Police Department reports, Alameda County Superior Court files, Chauncey Bailey Project research.

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