Trigger warning: This article discusses sensitive issues related to sexual abuse, pedophilia, grooming, and cyberbullying. It also contains graphic accounts of sexual violence as told by sexual assault survivors.
Remember the era of MySpace and Friendster scene kids?
Before the days of Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, those two social media platforms were home to teenagers online. Together with Tumblr, they were hubs for the internet zeitgeist of the 2000s.
These sites played host to subcultures, fandoms, artists, strange fetishes, and, unfortunately, online predators. Since the #MeToo movement took off in the mid-2010s, many web celebs have been outed as rapists, sexual assaulters, and pedophiles, leaving their careers in shambles.
One of them was Dahvie Vanity, a MySpace influencer and Blood On The Dance Floor singer whose fans harassed then 11-year-old Damien Leonhardt into retracting their allegations against Vanity.
Who Is Dahvie Vanity?
Dahvie Vanity, even at his peak, wasn’t exactly one of the most well-known artists of the 2000s. But the band he sang for, Blood On The Dance Floor, was popular enough to have Hot Topic merchandise, cementing it as one of the popular alt bands of the time. Fans of makeup mogul Jeffree Star might remember him as one of Star’s friends and collaborators back in their MySpace musician days.
Though his real name is Jesus David Torres, the artist went by Dahvie Vanity on stage and “The Elite Hair God” on MySpace — a nod to his quintessentially scene hair that Vanity seems to have personally maintained since, as his site claims, he was a Tigi trained hairdresser. To help put things in perspective, Vanity was born on September 5, 1986, putting him well in his twenties at the time he became internet famous.
According to people who have been following Dahvie Vanity’s career, his claims about being an elite hair god were false as Vanity’s famous scene hairdo was a just wig. They believe that Vanity was trying to present himself as a master scene hairstylist in order to get close to minors who were interested in the subculture.
At the time, many of these accusations were just unsubstantiated rumors that went mostly under the radar since few people with first-hand knowledge about Vanity’s actions were speaking up about it.
And then came the allegations. In 2010, Jeffree Star made a series of Tweets accusing Vanity of sexually assaulting minors, stating that, “Being on tour with that child f*cker has made me see the truth. I regret ever doing a song with that pig.”
The Allegations Against Dahvie Vanity
The accusations of pedophilia and sexual assault against Dahvie Vanity would come to a head in the same year after one of Vanity’s victims filmed a video where they threatened “haters” for being jealous about having a perfect boyfriend.
The video shows Damien Leonhardt, who at the time went by “Jessi Slaughter,” telling haters that they wanted them to get AIDS and that she would “pop a Glock in their mouths and make a brain slushie.” The feud had something to do with rumors that Leonhardt was in a relationship with Dahvie Vanity. Leonhardt, who clarifies in the video that they were 11 years old, unwittingly implies that they were being groomed by Vanity.
The internet, however, does not like being mocked. Jessi Slaughter became the subject of one of the biggest cyberbullying campaigns of the 2000s which grew even worse when they and their father filmed a video demanding that the trolls stop.
The video birthed the “You done goofed” internet meme that Vanity then proceeded to mock in a song titled, unsurprisingly, “You done goofed” where he attacks the minor for, as he puts it, dragging his name through the dirt.
The song goes on to call his target, an 11-year-old child, gendered slurs, singing, “My name and reputation won’t be the target of a slut!”
All of the stress proved too much for Leonhardt to bear and later, they would retract their statements against Vanity. In another Tumblr post in 2013, they explained that they did it only out of fear.
“I will say loudly, clearly, and without hesitation, Dahvie Vanity/David Jesus Torres raped me. He is an abuser; sexually, emotionally, and physically,” they wrote in a response to a question from an anonymous user.
“I am not afraid of the fanbase he got to attack me ’til I recanted my statement when I was 11-12, I am no longer staying silent. Not after so many young kids got hurt after me.”
An article from Insider provides an account from Leonhardt about the details of their assault. According to Leonhardt, they and Vanity saw each other in a bathroom at one of Vanity’s concerts following a cake mash.
While cleaning up, Vanity asked them a series of questions about their sexual preferences which devolved into coercive instructions to perform oral sex for him. Vanity later obtained her home telephone number and remain in touch for the next 16 months.
It wasn’t just calls and messages either. Vanity would continue to visit Leonhardt in the town where she lived and attended elementary school. Leonhardt states that Vanity first raped them at 10 years old and would claim the physical violence he inflicted on Leonhardt was “BDSM.”
Leonhardt wasn’t alone. Reporters working on an investigation of the allegations against Jesus David Torres met several women around the same age as Leonhardt who all claimed to have been victims of his.
Megan Hood, who was around 15 at the time, shared that Vanity/Torres began to “pursue her romantically” and asked to meet her after a concert in Colorado. The two met at a movie theatre where Hood says Vanity pressured her into giving him her first kiss.
That night, Vanity appeared outside her house and forced her to perform oral sex. Hood describes the experience as “very, very violent” given that Vanity tore her hair out and made her bleed.
Another survivor, Tye, was only in tenth grade when Vanity assaulted her.
“He would never ask my permission. Just take me somewhere where we were alone and grab my head and push me down like a dog,” Tye told MetalSucks.
With how serious these claims against Torres were, were there ever any consequences?
Dahvie Vanity Was Let Off the First Time Back in 2007
Years before “You done goofed” gate, Vanity had already been accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 2007. The assault, which consisted of Vanity driving to her house while she was unattended and forcing her to perform oral sex, happened before Torres started Blood On The Dance Floor.
Vanity, who only introduced himself to Farrel as “Dahvie” had driven to Farrell’s house while her mother, a single parent working two jobs, was away. Dahvie had promised to dye her hair for her.
Farrell later called a Christian radio show asking for advice from the show host, Dawson McAllister. McAllister, who was probably expecting a call about bullying or relationship advice, listened as his caller told him about how she had been sexually assaulted eight days ago. He was one of the first people to know what had happened to Farrell.
When police officers, called by McAllister’s staff, arrived to obtain Farrell’s statement she was afraid of being in trouble and getting Vanity in trouble. He had proclaimed that he loved her and while her assault was anything but pleasant, Farrell didn’t want to hurt him.
Hence, she tried to insist the incident was consensual — regardless of the fact that she wasn’t legally capacitated to consent. She also said to police that Vanity had told her that she “wanted this” before he forced himself onto her.
Despite the simple clarity of the facts of the case, that the victim was under 15 years old and that the perpetrator was a legal adult, Vanity was never prosecuted. Had proper legal action been taken against him, he would have been facing charges for statutory rape and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Instead, the police gave Dahvie Vanity a warning.
Since then, 21 survivors have stepped forward to share their stories about Vanity’s abusive behavior. A common theme among them is that Torres forced them to provide oral sex. Of these 21 people, 16 were minors when Jesus David Torres assaulted them. According to many of them, Vanity would continue to assault them even after they struggled to breathe and their mouths bled.
As for Vanity, he insists that all of the allegations are lies, proclaiming in one of his songs that, “Bitches with their lies almost pushed me into suicide, call me a rapist.”
Jesus David Torres a.k.a Dahvie Vanity remains a free man to this day. He was never arrested following his assault of Dianna Farrell, despite Florida law stating that ignorance of a victim’s age is not an admissible defense.
Where Is Dahvie Vanity Now?
Dahvie Vanity may have gotten off scot-free, but Blood On The Dance Floor’s name did not survive.
Aside from the allegations of pedophilia against its lead singer, the band’s discography has been erased from Spotify for violating the platform’s policy against “hate content and hateful conduct.”
Though Spotify maintains that the move had nothing to do with the accusations, the lyrics that Blood On The Dance Floor’s music was removed for contains references to his victims that have been described by Rolling Stone as “lyrics that brag about ejaculating on women, humiliating women and killing women.”
Hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse has called out Dahvie Vanity for sexual assault and pedophilia, describing him as “Juggalo Enemy Number 1!”
Violent J made a Facebook post in 2020 on Insane clown Posse’s official page that sought to warn his fans about Vanity’s actions and advised them to “keep your terminator style eyeballs open for Juggalo Enemy Number!” The artist continues to describe Jesus David Torres as an “active, free-roaming, unconvicted, fuckin’ PEDOPHILE! Out here, free-roaming! PEDOPHILING! Look him up now!”
He also encouraged his fans to “Pick up a heavy object and inflict necessary beat down!!! Just make sure it’s the correct guy first and not some other totally innocent, peacock wig-wearing fuckin’ fool!”
Which begs the question: what is Vanity up to these days?
Apparently, he’s trying to rebrand under a new band he calls “Kawaii Monster.” Jesus David Torres, who is now in his 30s, appears to be publishing his new music on the YouTube channel “The Most Vivid Nightmares.” Incidentally, the name “Kawaii Monster” is already known as the name of a Japanese cafe owned by Sebastian Masuda, a Harajuku fashion icon who also owns the brand “6%Doki Doki.”