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What We Know So Far About the Alleged Dolezal Sex-Abuse Scandal

Rachel Dolezal's story keeps getting more complex and disheartening as the days roll on.

by River Donaghey
Jun 17 2015, 3:00pm

The story of Rachel Dolezal, the former chapter president of the NAACP who was born white but now vehemently claims she is black, gets more complex and disheartening as the days roll on. Earlier this week, the New York Daily News broke the story that Dolezal was involved in a case accusing her biological older brother, Joshua, of molestation. The resulting schism in the Dolezal family may have been the reason for Dolezal's parents to out her and kickstart the racial-identity scandal in the first place, possibly timed to discredit her testimony when the case goes to trial this summer—at least that's what Dolezal has speculated.

On Tuesday, BuzzFeed News looked deeper into the alleged sex-abuse story, obtaining an affidavit and arrest warrant revealing that the alleged abuse took place in the early 2000s in the Dolezal home and was allegedly carried out by Joshua Dolezal, who was in his mid 20s. The alleged victim, who Rachel Dolezal's parents confirmed to BuzzFeed News to be their adopted daughter, Esther, was six or seven at the time. They also said the sex-abuse allegations were "absolutely untrue."

The Colorado affidavit obtained by BuzzFeed News said that the alleged victim told police that Joshua forced her to perform oral sex on him and "repeatedly made her touch his penis." It went on to say that when the alleged victim told her mother, she "did not believe her 'lies.'" The affidavit then made the claim "that Joshua Dolezal had victimized [redacted] older sister," a possible reference to Rachel Dolezal herself being another alleged victim of Joshua's abuse.

The affidavit goes on to report that Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office detective Al Billinger received an emailed statement about a prior, unrelated incident that supposedly took place in 1991, when Joshua was in his mid teens. The statement from the alleged victim claims that Joshua held her down and attempted to strip her naked, then showed her topless photos of African women from pages of a National Geographic and admitted he would masturbate to the images and "was turned on by the black body and was curious about black women generally."

Rachel, Joshua, and Esther Dolezal's parents fervently denied these allegations to BuzzFeed News on Tuesday. Their mother, Ruthanne, blamed Rachel for trying to destroy her family and said that "these malicious accusations need to be recognized for what they are. We are just hopeful and praying that our justice system will work for justice and not just be a platform to be abused."

Joshua Dolezal is currently employed at Iowa's Central College as an associate professor of English.

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Screenshot via NBC News