Music News

DJ Erick Morillo Arrested in Miami on Rape Accusation

House music DJ Erick Morillo
House music DJ Erick Morillo Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Erick Morillo, the Colombian-American DJ known under a handful of aliases for his international work in house music, has been arrested in Miami after allegedly raping a fellow DJ at his home back in December.

Morillo, 49, was taken into custody on Thursday morning by Miami Beach Police after turning himself in on a sexual battery charge, according to the arrest report. The DJ's arrest (which was first reported by Local 10), comes nearly eight months after the alleged battery took place.

On December 7, a woman called 911 to report that she had been raped at Morillo's Miami Beach home, the report states. According to Local 10's report, detectives say Morillo and his alleged victim were both working as DJs at a private party on Star Island on the evening of the incident. The arrest report makes no mention of this, stating only that the woman told police she knew Morillo through the music industry and at a party that evening, he'd invited her to accompany him and another woman back to his place on La Gorce Drive for drinks.

The victim recalled taking an Uber to Morillo's home, where she had a few drinks and slipped into a green-colored bathing suit to wear in the pool, according to the report. She told police that Morillo began making advances at the pool, "some sexual in nature," which she refused. Eventually, she felt disrespected by Morillo and changed back into her clothes, informing him that she would call an Uber.

But after Morillo apologized for his behavior, the woman stayed, the report says. 

Later, the woman retreated to a bedroom on the second floor of Morillo's home to sleep. She told police she went to bed fully clothed but later awoke undressed with Morillo standing over her, naked. Upon waking up, she said, she began having "flashes" back to Morillo raping her and felt like she was in pain.

According to the report, as Morillo attempted to calm the woman, she got dressed and left his home, calling 911 for help. She was then transported to a rape-treatment center for evaluation.

Meanwhile, Miami Beach police responded to the scene of the incident and met with Morillo, who said he had spoken with his attorney prior to their arrival, according to the report. He agreed to give an oral DNA sample and a recorded statement, in which he denied raping the woman.

Morillo told police that while he never had sex with the victim, he did have sex with the other woman at his home. He said that afterward, he walked into his bedroom naked and was startled to see the woman asleep in his bed.

According to the report, the other woman at Morillo's home told police she was asleep on the couch downstairs and had not witnessed anything.

On July 2, the police received results from the rape kit linking Morillo to the sexual battery, according to the report. Neither Morillo nor his agent responded to New Times' requests for comment.

Morillo was born in New York and raised in Colombia, where, as a teen, he began DJ'ing and dabbling with Latin rhythms, reggae, and hip-hop. His first taste of fame came in the '90s after cowriting the dance hit "I Like to Move It," which was used in DreamWorks' Madagascar movies and thrust him into millionaire status and international fame. In the decades since, he has served as a staple of the dance- and house-music scene in Miami and beyond.

According to Resident Advisor, which lists events for electronic music artists around the world, the most recent shows Morillo played in Miami were both in December at the Wynwood Factory — including on December 6, the day before the alleged rape took place.
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Alex DeLuca is a fellow at Miami New Times.
Contact: Alex DeLuca