SAN FRANCISCO
08/02/2012 03:13 pm ET Updated Oct 02, 2012

Kowana Banks, Your Black Muslim Bakery Abuse Victim, Recounts Ordeal (VIDEO)

This article comes to us courtesy of California Watch.

By Louise Rafkin

In 2002, five years before journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a woman identified only as Jane Doe 1 stepped forward to report decades of sexual abuse, welfare fraud and violence by the bakery's leader, Yusuf Bey Sr.

She was prepared to hand over to Oakland police DNA from three of her children, evidence that Bey had impregnated her, the first time when she was 12 years old.

Given the history of violence by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery, this was a risky move. But the woman was fueled by a mother's anger. Her daughter, then 18, alerted her that Bey was trying to abuse her - his own daughter.

Now a devout Christian, Jane Doe 1 has decided she no longer wants to be the nameless whistle-blower. Her name is Kowana Banks and, in her first public interview, she said she made the decision to come forward to help other children trapped in similar situations. She hopes to publish a book about her experiences.

"Abused people go one of two ways: Either they are going to self-destruct or they're going to make a difference," said Banks, 44. "I'm going to make a difference."

Read the rest of the story on California Watch. Louise Rafkin is an investigative reporter for California Watch, a project of the nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting. Find more California Watch stories here.