The Breakfast Club host Charlamagne Tha God (born Lenard Larry McKelvey) is facing pressure over a 17-year-old rape allegation with a new petition demanding his firing from the popular iHeartMedia radio show.
A Care2 petition launched Wednesday (July 11) had more than 1,700 supporters at time of publishing, claiming it was in support of Jessica Reid, who accused McKelvey of rape in 2001. It follows a report by The Blast from Tuesday, where Reid and her mother told the website the now-32-year-old is seeking legal representation and wants to reopen a criminal case against McKelvey.
Reid was only 15 when she first brought the claims against McKelvey — allegations he has denied. Her mother, Joslyn, told The Blast that at the time, she was trying to protect her daughter from suffering and stopped the teenager from cooperating in the prosecution.
McKelvey was ultimately found guilty of a lesser charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was sentenced to three years of probation.
Reid now says that she is looking for closure on the incident.
South Carolina — where the incident took place — has no statute of limitations on criminal prosecution.
According to a 2001 police report from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, Reid and a friend claimed to have been picked up and brought to a short-stay Naval housing facility and given a liquid to drink that tasted like soda. That was the last thing Reid’s friend said she remembered before waking up with a man trying to kiss her. She claimed to have forced the man away and went to find Reid, who was in the room across from where she was, naked and crying, stating she had been raped. The girls were brought to a local hospital, where staff corroborated that a sexual assault had occurred and took a statement implicating McKelvey as the assailant.
Nearly a month later, McKelvey — who was 22 at the time — was arrested for criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second degree, specifically, “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously engage in penile/vaginal intercourse with a fifteen year old female child.”
McKelvey has previously discussed the charges against him. In an interview with DJ Akademiks, he said he had thrown the party where the alleged rape took place but left early. He said that he spoke to police following the incident, since it had been his party, but since they didn’t have any other suspects they pinned it on him. He added that police DNA tests didn’t even match and that is why they reduced the charges.
“We want to send a powerful message to all of the people who like to prey on innocent children that it’s not going to happen on our watch,” states the petition. “No matter how much money or influence you have, we will not allow you to hurt our children.”
McKelvey co-hosts the nationally syndicated iHeartMedia program The Breakfast Club and recently interviewed Kanye West in a high-profile video released ahead of the artist’s Ye album. His new book, Shook One: Anxiety Playing Tricks On Me, is scheduled for release in October via Simon & Schuster, following his New York Times bestseller Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create It.
iHeartMedia declined to comment.
This article was originally published on Billboard.