The Massive Sex Assault Charges That Destroyed Soul Legend Billy Preston’s Career

Posted On : November 12, 2015

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Singer/musician/songwriter, Billy Preston, was best known for his hit 1974 “Nothing From Nothing;” his duet with Syreeta Wright “With You I’m Born Again; and his 1972 smash, “Will It Go Round In Circles.”

What he eventually became known for was something that none of us would have ever expected. Preston went from selling millions of records to stunning millions of fans when he was arrested in 1991 and ultimately charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a 16 year old Hispanic boy, and in 1992 he also was charged with sexually assaulting a 38 year old male.

In 1991 case of the 16 year old boy, this is what was reported via LA Times:

‘Preston was arrested for investigation of sexual battery, showing pornographic material to a minor, possessing cocaine and being under the influence of a controlled substance, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Rafael Estrada.

The 16-year-old boy told deputies that Preston had picked him up Sunday morning at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Trancas Canyon Road, a gathering point for day laborers, Estrada said.

The boy, whose name was withheld because of his age, said the singer began smoking cocaine and showing him pornographic pictures shortly after he entered the car.

Preston then allegedly drove to his Malibu home and took the youth to a barn behind his house, Estrada said. There, the boy told deputies, Preston pushed him to the ground and grabbed him around the chest, Estrada said.

“The juvenile was able to push Preston off, and ran to a neighbor’s house,” Estrada said.

Deputies went to Preston’s home to arrest him at 9:30 a.m., Estrada said, but the performer was not there. They returned a half an hour later and found Preston in the barn with a 19-year-old man, Estrada said. Preston was taken into custody, the deputy said. The 19-year-old was not arrested.’

The following year, in 1992, more charges came:

Preston was charged with sexual battery, assault with a deadly weapon – a knife – and false imprisonment of a 38-year-old man he hired to do work at his Malibu, Ca. home.

Authorities said Preston propositioned the man at his house last August. After he was turned down, he offered to drive the man to a neighbor’s house, prosecutors said, but attacked him in the car. -Orlando Sentinel, 1992

Billy eventually plead no contest to drug and sexual assault charges and he was sentenced to 9 months in a drug rehab facility and three months on house arrest.

Needless to say, many were shocked by this whole situation, except for some of those who knew Billy very well. Word on the Old School curb is that Billy, himself, was actually molested several times as a child, by an older male he knew and that when he told his mom, she didn’t believe him. This is a story we hear all too often, and hopefully the more we openly discuss it, the closer we will be to terminating this vicious cycle of ‘if you act like it doesn’t exist it will go away,’ only for it to actually resurface when the victims grow up to become sexual predators themselves.

Sexual assault is not something we can just wish away and I can only imagine the type of inner turmoil Billy Preston must have endured throughout his life. He struggled as a Black male with a sexual preference for men, in a testosterone dominated music industry where men are expected to be women magnets…that must have been rough.
billy preston olderBilly allegedly ended up having an addiction to crack cocaine in the later part of his career, up until his death in 2006, at the age of 59. One can only imagine that he was possibly self medicating to numb the pains of the things he could not change and the pain he inflicted on others. According to close sources, Billy feared that if he came out as gay, he would be shunned by the Black community and the music industry. Unfortunately he was probably right, especially during his era.

-ILoveOldSchoolNews, old school news with a new point of view

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