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Old 09-18-2019, 03:36 PM
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Default Gay activist Charles Leslie molested kid in penis-filled apartment: suit


Gay activist Charles Leslie molested kid in penis-filled apartment: suit
By Priscilla DeGregory
September 18, 2019 | 4:37pm | Updated

Charles Leslie
J. Grassi/PMC

A Los Angeles man is suing Manhattan gay-rights icon Charles Leslie for $10 million claiming Leslie sexually abused him as a child inside his notorious “phallus palace” Soho apartment filled with art and sculptures of penises, according to a new lawsuit.

Thor Gold says the abuse happened in the 1970s, according to the suit filed in Manhattan Supreme court late Tuesday — thanks to the new Child Victims Act allowing accusers to bring new suits in old cases.

Gold’s suit claims his alcoholic single mother frequently let him spend time at Leslie’s apartment — which is popularly known as the “phallus palace” because it’s notoriously chock-full of bawdy testaments to the male member.

At the time, Leslie shared the Prince Street apartment with his since-deceased life partner Fitz Lohman, a real-estate magnate with whom he founded the Leslie-Lohman Museum.

Gold came to look up to the man as a father figure because Leslie took him to the circus and baseball games starting in 1973 when Gold was just 7 years old and thanks to Leslie’s “grooming, Plaintiff came to trust [him], and at times even turned to [Leslie] for help and comfort through periods of his mother’s absence,” the court documents say.

Gold interpreted his relationship with Leslie as kindness. But, Leslie’s “true intentions only became apparent to Plaintiff years later when he recalled the many conversations he and Defendant had about how it was ‘natural’ and ‘good’ for a little boy to have and express his sexuality,” the lawsuit claims.

When Gold was 8 years old he asked Leslie about erect penises “prompted by the numerous sexual images displayed prominently throughout Defendant’s home, which included many pictures of male genitals, pornography, and even a bronze key chain molded to the shape of a penis and testicles that Defendant regularly carried outside of one of his pockets,” the court papers say.
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Leslie used Gold’s questions “as an opening to sexually abuse plaintiff,” the court documents allege.

He allegedly asked Gold, “if he wanted to see how a penis gets erect,” before taking him into the bathroom, placing Gold in the tub and forcing him to give him oral sex, the court papers charge.

After, Leslie showed the boy pornography of woman performing oral sex to “normalize” the act, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit says Gold didn’t tell anyone about the incident until he was in his 20s. He has since questioned his sexuality wondering if he is asexual and has been in and out of therapy his entire adult life, the suit alleges.

Gold and his mother sent letters to Leslie about the alleged abuse which they say Leslie never responded to, according to the suit.

Gold’s lawyer, Gerald Cohen, said, “Mr. Gold is committed to obtain justice and we will do everything in our power to see that happen.”

An employee at the museum said that Leslie is traveling abroad.

“Mr. Leslie is not here to defend himself right now and the plaintiff’s attorneys know that and I’m sure that Mr. Leslie will vigorously defend himself when he is able to do so,” said Erica Bell, Leslie’s general lawyer who is not representing him in this case. She would not elaborate further on where Leslie was.
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