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Rape charges against Decapitated dropped

Decapitated
photo by Greg Cristman

The charges of rape and kidnapping against members of Polish metal band Decapitated have been dropped. The Spokesman-Review reports that prosecutors filed a motion dropping all charges, citing as reasons “the well being of the victim” and “the interest of justice.” The four members of the band had been released from jail in November following their September arrest, and were staying in Washington while waiting for the trial, scheduled for January, to begin, as The Spokesman-Review also reports. Decapitated released a statement on Facebook addressing their release and the dropped charges, saying, “new evidence arose that helped show that the band was innocent. While a trial would have given the band the opportunity to have all this evidence heard, the band welcome the decision and are excited to return back to their homes in Poland.” Read the statement in full below.

All four members of Decapitated were arrested following an incident alleged to have taken place after their August 31, 2017 concert at The Pin in Spokane. A woman accused members of the band of rape, and of holding her on board their tour bus against her will. She was taken to Providence Holy Family Hospital, who found “significant bruising to her upper arms consistent with being restrained” and “small abrasions to her knuckles that were scabbed over.” Band members pled not guilty to the charges, which they denied. The Spokesman-Review reports that Steve Graham, defense attorney for band member Waclaw Kieltyka, says “‘new evidence’ came to light that ‘seriously cast doubt’ over the state’s case.”

While he wouldn’t divulge the state’s reasoning for dropping the charges, Graham said Spokane police officers may have been misinformed on what happens at metal shows that could explain the woman’s bruising.

“We subpoenaed the list of concert attendees and found numerous people who say that she was in the front row of the mosh pit and was climbing up on stage, and getting jostled about as much as anyone else there,” he said. “There’s no question from our perspective that the case against these four guys was falling apart.”

A representative from the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office was not immediately available.

Graham also cited testimony from a member of another band playing The Pin on August 31, Andy Marsh of Thy Art is Murder, who says he saw the woman in the mosh pit “violently dancing.” “‘She was smashing her hands, arms and body against the metal barricade between the audience and the stage,’ according to court documents.”

All charges against Decapitated have formally been dropped. Arrested September 8 in Santa Ana whilst on tour, the members of the band were jailed until December where they were released on their own recognizance.

New evidence arose that helped show that the band was innocent. While a trial would have given the band the opportunity to have all this evidence heard, the band welcome the decision and are excited to return back to their homes in Poland.

The members of Decapitated – Wacław, Rafal, Michał and Hubert – send a sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who supported them during this difficult time, including fans, friends, and family.

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