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Singer Investigated in Assault Case

November 13, 2002|Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton | Times Staff Writers

Police are investigating allegations that singer Rick James, famous for the 1981 hit "Super Freak," sexually assaulted a woman at his Woodland Hills home.

On Monday night, officials served a search warrant at the house where the 26-year-old woman said James, 54, assaulted her last weekend.

"They are allegations of a sexual nature," said Robbery-Homicide Capt. Jim Tatreau.

"Rick James was cooperative with police," he said.

James could not be reached for comment.

In 1993, he was convicted of assaulting two women.

The first attack occurred two years earlier when he restrained and burned a young woman with a hot pipe during a weeklong cocaine binge at his house in West Hollywood.

He was free on bail when the second assault occurred in 1992 in James' room at the St. James Club & Hotel in West Hollywood.

The jury hung on a torture charge that could have sent James to prison for life.

He was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

In 1997, the singer released a new album, but a year later he suffered a stroke that derailed a comeback tour.

This year, he went on tour again, appearing in May at the Greek Theatre.

"I have a desire and a purpose now," he told The Times in May.

"Before, I was really on drugs [when] I went on stage," he said. "Now I can remember the cities I'm in and the songs I'm singing."

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