Chauncey Bailey Project

Jane Doe 2

Jane Doe 2 was 10 years old and her sister 9 when their father divorced and took them to live with Yusuf Ali Bey at Your Black Muslim Bakery in 1978.

Their former stepmother was a Black Muslim who had worked at the bakery years ago and had had a daughter by Bey, they testified. Now, Jane Doe 2 and her sister, Jane Doe 1, would have a new legal guardian, Nora Bey, one of the spiritual wives of the bakery founder.

Soon, their new life became a nightmare. They worked long hours in the bakery without pay and were kept out of school. They said they were also forced to have sex with Bey.

“That’s what we were — slaves,” Jane Doe 2 said.

It would be 24 years before police mounted an investigation of the politically powerful Bey, triggered by by Jane Doe 1’s complaint accusing Bey of molesting their own daughter. The cases of four women known as Jane Doe 1 through 4 formed the basis of the 27 sexual abuse charges brought against Bey in 2002. Their names have not been released because of the sensitive nature of their allegations.

In 2003, all charges pertaining to Jane Doe 2, her sister and Jane Doe 3 are thrown out because of the statute of limitations. The district attorney responds by expanding the abuse charges relating to Jane Doe 4.

But in September 2003, Yusuf Bey died of cancer, and the case never went to trial. Three years later, Jane Doe 1, 2 and 3 filed a civil suit against Nora Bey, Yusuf Bey’s legal wife, Farieda Bey, and Alameda County, which oversaw the sisters’ welfare under the Beys.

In a sworn deposition in 2005, Jane Doe 2 said that Bey began raping her when she was 10 and that she bore her first child by him when she was 16.

The assaults became regular occurrences. Nora Bey, whose birth name was Esperanza Johnson, went to work at the bakery at 5 a.m., leaving her to care for Nora’s second child. Then, Doe 2 testified, Yusuf Bey would come over and attack her.

She and her sister were afraid of him — and Nora Bey. Sometimes he came over when Nora Bey was home. Sometimes, Doe 2 said, Nora Bey advised her to take a bath to prepare for him. He was a dangerous man, Nora Bey would tell her, and that she should do what he asked.

In a 2005 deposition, however, Nora Bey said she had tried to protect the girls.

“I tried to step up and protect everybody physically from Mr. Bey,” she testified, adding that Bey beat her for that.

Nora Bey said she never reported the sexual abuse to authorities because she feared for her life.

Nora Bey and Yusuf Bey’s legal wife were later dropped from the lawsuit.

Jane Doe 2, her sister and Jane Doe 3 received $50,000 each from the county to settle the case.

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