Derrick “True Master” Harris was kept in custody for four years while awaiting trial for allegedly trying to rape a woman who came over to his apartment on September 12, 2011. He denied any wrongdoing.
Besides that, the former Wu-Tang Clan producer was accused of punching another woman unprovoked at a park that same day, New York Daily News reported. In 2015, however, Harris was partially cleared of the felony sex crime conviction after he was acquitted by a jury. Five other counts that were brought against him were also dismissed by the presiding judge after a holdout juror did not deliberate for more than one day.
In January 2020, prosecutors in Manhattan announced they weren’t going to retry those charges. He has since filed a lawsuit alleging he had to endure “a near-decade of torment” for attempted rape and assault at the hands of New York City police.
“Derrick Harris faced a concerted and malicious effort to sabotage the successful life that he had built for himself and to rob him of his notoriety and freedom,” Harris’ lawyer, Ben Crump, said.
“Even today, it can be astounding to some to see Black people rise to success and achieve the American dream, but it remains to be seen why that assigns a target to our backs.”
Harris, who has worked with artists including Alicia Keys, Busta Rhymes, and Ghostface Killah, wants unspecified damages.
The woman who accused Harris of trying to rape her was cross-examined by the plaintiff during his trial at the Manhattan Supreme Court. There, Harris alleged the said woman maliciously claimed he had tried to rape her after he turned down her sexual advances, New York Daily News reported. The lawsuit, however, does not highlight the alleged sexual advance.
Prior to the incident, the alleged victim and Harris had met on multiple occasions. But on the day of the alleged rape at his residence, prosecutors claimed Harris forced the alleged victim to perform oral sex on him. Prosecutors also accused him of trying to rape the alleged victim, adding that she even tried to escape while naked.
But Harris alleges he was framed by the woman. He also called into question the allegation of punching the other woman. Harris, in the suit, also claimed neither he nor the jurors knew the two alleged victims knew each other.
Per the suit, Harris also argues that DNA swabs he subsequently paid for did not link him to the alleged rape after the case was dismissed by prosecutors. He also accuses the NYPD of falsifying and withholding evidence.