DJ Bassnectar denies allegations of sexually abusing, trafficking underage girls
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Bassnectar, a DJ and electronic dance musician, has been sued for allegedly sexually abusing and trafficking underage girls, as well as possessing child pornography. 

The allegations from two women were detailed in a Monday lawsuit obtained by Rolling Stone. The case accuses Bassnectar, whose legal name is Lorin Ashton, of “ingratiating himself" into the lives of young girls to “groom and ultimately sexually victimize" them, solicit their nude pictures and subject them to sex trafficking.

"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," Ashton's attorney Mitchell Schuster said in a statement to the magazine. 

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The lawsuit alleges that the 43-year-old used his celebrity status in his mid-30s to target and engage “in commercial sex acts with minors" while "utilizing his shows and organizations to accomplish the exploitation of young girls for his own sexual gratification.”

“In fact, it was a running joke among those associated with Bassnectar that he would have to find a date at a high school dance,” the lawsuit states.

The female plaintiffs allege that the DJ used social media to communicate with fans, even if he knew they were underage.

He allegedly offered them free tickets and paid for travel arrangements to his shows. USA Today reported that the lawsuit details how he "mandated" condoms would not be used for sexual acts and paid the high schoolers between $300 and $1,600, insisting their relationships be kept secret.  

The EDM star also reportedly encouraged the young girls to watch “American Beauty,” a 1999 file about a middle-aged man who seeks a relationship with his 16-year-old daughter’s classmate.

The lawsuit claims that Ashton even reached out to one of his accusers in 2016 amid the rise of the "Me Too" movement, when high-profile men were publicly accused of sexual misconduct.

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The victim later told him she had begun therapy as a result of what he did to her. The case states that they spoke on the phone in June 2020 and Ashton reportedly admitted what he did was "so inappropriate," "completely wrong" and the result of an imbalance of power.

He allegedly mentioned the threat of jail several times during the call and he offered the victim “money and other benefits in an attempt to coerce her into remaining silent," according to the complaint. 

The lawsuit is seeking a jury trial and damages “in an amount which will effectively prevent other similarly caused acts and adequately reflect the enormity of the Defendants’ wrong and injuries to the Plaintiffs," Rolling Stone reported. 

The case also names various companies associated with the DJ — including Amorphous Music, Bassnectar Touring, Redlight Management, C3 Presents and Interactive Giving Fund — as co-defendants in an attempt, it says, to hold the corporations accountable for supporting him during “years of grooming, abuse and trafficking." 

"We have seen a true reckoning in recent years of powerful individuals and institutions finally being held to account for years of sexual abuse against adults and minors. But we have only begun to scratch the surface of how these influential figures and entities can go on for years committing abuses without being held responsible," attorney Brian Kent, who is representing the women in the lawsuit, said in a press release.

This is not the first time that Ashton has faced accusations of sexual misconduct.

Last year, an Instagram account called @EvidenceAgainstBassnectar began outlining the allegations against the musician from various women, including some incidents that date back years. The account currently has more than 18,000 followers.

As the alleged claims resurfaced, Ashton announced in July would “stepping back” from his career and hoped to “take responsibility and accountability.”

“I feel intense compassion for anyone I may have hurt,” he wrote. “I truly hope you allow me a chance to work together toward healing. The rumors you are hearing are untrue, but I realize some of my past actions have caused pain, and I am deeply sorry.”