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Mom alleges daughter was assaulted at Maha Music Festival

Posted at 6:16 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 19:20:13-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — People have raved about the Lizzo concert at Maha Music Festival this weekend--but one mother says it was the scene of a crime off stage. She says a man traumatized her daughter by grabbing her inappropriately.

The festival sold out Saturday, drawing in a huge crowd for Lizzo.

A mother--who doesn't want to be identified because of what happened to her 7-year-old daughter that night--says a man in his 30's or 40's touched her daughter inappropriately while in the crowd before the concert started.

And it escalated.

"This guy began pushing her aggressively with his rear-end, pushing her a distance away from me," said the mother. "He turned and put his hands on her. I grabbed him by his shoulder and began trying to push him off of her and get between them--at which point he became violent with me."

A police report indicates the man got in the mom's face and started yelling at her. The crowd separated them and security removed him from the festival.

"It's frustrating, it's angering, it's incredibly heartbreaking--not only the way he was with me but the fact that he has the audacity to do this to a small child, my child," said the mother.

She took a picture of the alleged suspect and put it on social media.

KMTV reached out to Omaha Police on Monday and Tuesday to confirm the photo is of the suspect being investigated, but they haven't made that confirmation--so we will not show the photo.

The Women's Center for Advancement (WCA) commends the mother and concert-goers for stepping in right away.

"Ultimately if you think something has been done wrong to you, you should absolutely report it if you feel comfortable doing that," said Elizabeth Powers from the WCA.

The mother just wants help identifying the man.

"Last night going to sleep she told me, 'mommy, I can't get the bad guy out of my head,'" said the mother. "I want to have him held accountable for what he did--for the trauma that he caused my daughter."

The WCA has a 24/7 hotline that is staffed by advocates. The number is 402-345-7273.

Maha released a statement on Monday, which can be found below:

The safety and security of our attendees is Maha's highest priority. We have a zero-tolerance policy for harassment or discrimination of any kind. As is protocol, upon the report of this incident on Saturday night, the suspect was promptly removed from the festival and prohibited from re-entering.

Maha is working directly with law enforcement on this matter. We encourage anyone with information on the incident to contact the Omaha Police Department directly at 402-444-5600.

In addition, this incident is under review internally. We are committed to improving the experience we provide, and any opportunity for improvement or adjustment identified upon review of this circumstance will be implemented to help ensure the safety and security of all who attend and participate in future Maha programming.

Kind regards,
Lauren Martin - Executive Director, Maha