DECAPITATED Guitarist Reflects On Being Falsely Accused Of Rape: It Was A 'Really Painful' And 'Traumatic' Process

May 8, 2022

In a new interview with Australia's "Scars And Guitars" podcast, guitarist Waclaw "Vogg" Kieltyka of Polish extreme metal veterans DECAPITATED reflected on the fact all four members of his band were accused by a woman of gang-raping her after a concert in 2017 in Spokane, Washington. In January 2018, rape and kidnapping charges against the musicians were dropped by prosecutors in Washington state. At the time, the prosecutors filed a motion in Spokane County Superior Court dismissing the charges, citing only the "well-being of the victim" as the reason.

Looking back on the experience, Vogg said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It really was a really painful process and really traumatic. It's hard to imagine, if you're not in this kind of situation, how it was, how it is in reality. If you're suddenly going for something which is such a scary thing, because it was a scary thing.

"The worst thing [is] you're facing this kind of charges that are crushing your whole career and your personal life," he continued. "That's the one side. The other side is you're facing [the loss] of your longtime freedom if something goes wrong.

"It's so abstract that being in a big courtroom in front of all those people, seeing for the first time in your life judges and prosecutors and facing this. And the people, they're talking some things about you you didn't do, and they try to put you [in] prison like the worst people on the planet. And you say to yourself, like, 'Where I actually am? Is this just kind of a dream right now? Or is it real things going on?' It was a really irrational experience. And then all these days in a jail and all these months after.

"Yeah, it was very traumatic and really just unbelievable," Vogg added. "But you have to know right now we feel all way better than during this. 'Cause it was already a few years [ago], and we've been working hard to go out from this in every possible way. So right now we have a new album. We have stability in our families. And we start to actually forget about that [experience]… We take our lesson. We're trying to just go forward without any mistakes, to do just good decisions [in] life, and it looks like everything is going [in] the right direction."

Kieltyka, drummer Michal Lysejko, singer Rafal Piotrowski and bassist Hubert Wiecek were scheduled to begin trial in January 2018 in Spokane County Superior Court. But 11 days before the trial date, a Spokane County deputy prosecutor filed a motion dropping all rape and kidnapping charges without prejudice, meaning the four men could be prosecuted in the future.

Asked by "Scars And Guitars" if that means that the entire case is now legally behind him and his DECAPITATED bandmates, Vogg said: "Yes, that's for sure. The thing is that I don't want to explain what is this about because I would need to touch some things and talk about some people and about some procedures that we decided to not touch this topic. But it's just like a classic U.S. procedure about cases like that.

"I don't wanna talk much," he continued. "Because I could explain that, but I don't wanna deal with the monster. I don't wanna wake up the monster. This is all behind [us]. All the charges are dropped.

"Imagine [if we were] in a U.S jail and we're four guys who really did it. Do you really believe they would let us go like that? I don't think so. So that's it. I could go with that, but this interview shouldn't be about the law case in the U.S."

The woman alleged she was gang-raped by the musicians in their tour bus bathroom after DECAPITATED's August 31, 2017 concert with THY ART IS MURDER at The Pin concert venue in downtown Spokane as part of the two bands' "Double Homicide" tour. The woman said entered the bus for drinks with the band before each member forced themselves on her.

Deputies later stated the victim had "significant bruising to her upper arms consistent with being restrained" and "small abrasions on her knuckles that were scabbed over." But DECPITATED's attorneys consistently argued their clients' innocence, with Vogg's attorney telling The Spokesman-Review that police officers may have been misinformed on what happens at metal shows that could explain the woman's bruising.

Andy Marsh, a member of THY ART IS MURDER, provided testimony for the defense, saying he saw the woman violently dancing in the mosh pit in front of the stage. "She was smashing her hands, arms and body against the metal barricade between the audience and the stage," he said in the court documents.

All four members of DECAPITATED were arrested on September 9, 2017 in Santa Ana, California after performing at the Observatory. They were held in Los Angeles County Jail before being extradited to Spokane.

The musicians were released from jail as they awaited trial. As part of their release conditions, they were ordered to stay in Washington and were required to turn in their passports. In the event that they did return to Poland, they were ordered to sign waivers of extradition, meaning they were agreeing to be extradited to the U.S.

The DECAPITATED members were released on their own recognizance and did not have to post a bond.

Their trial was scheduled to begin on January 16, 2018.

DECAPITATED will release its eighth studio album, "Cancer Culture", on May 27 via Nuclear Blast Records.

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