Polish tech death masters DECAPITATED have pushed back against attempts by unnamed individals to force the cancelation of the band's recently announced European 25th-anniversary tour.
The controversy stems from the fact all four members of DECAPITATED 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.
Earlier today, DECAPITATED released the following statement: "As many of you may or may not be aware, back in 2017 in the midst of our USA tour we had the worst experience of our lives during the time we got arrested and jailed after being falsely accused of sexual assault. We went through hell and back. After all charges got dropped when evidence that would prove our innocence came to light and we were able to return to Poland, we made a short statement about the situation and had decided not to go into any sort of detail. The band had not been found guilty and we didn't want to share much, if any, of the details of what we had to go through. We have known the truth and the truth will always win.
"Unfortunately, it has been brought to our attention that a small group of people, who know nothing about our case or have any connection to it or us, have been reaching out directly to some of our beloved UK venues and promoters of the 25 year anniversary EU/UK tour that we announced earlier this week, bringing up old articles from when we got arrested, in an attempt to cause damage to the band and our shows.
"Over the past weeks and months, we've heard about several industry players (be it bands, promoters or agents) rightfully coming under fire after severe allegations of unacceptable misconduct. This is absolutely unrelated to DECAPITATED. We have nothing to do with this and don't deserve to be dragged through the mud again.
"The band has ZERO interest in rehashing the past and certainly, the scars need to be kept closed. We value the emotional and mental health of our band members and ALL involved in their lives. We will not go back to one of the, if not, the worst times of our lives. It hurts us that some people are forcing us to go relive all those terrible feelings again, while we moved on and have been working very hard to rebuild this band.
"Our members, family, label, closest fans, friends and people from the music industry have helped every step of the way to keep us afloat, as well as mentally and emotionally strong.
"DECAPITATED has never used and will never build their strategy and recognition, or look for media attention, by talking about private life, being scandalists, or provoking and offending others. But once and for all to set the record straight: We strongly stand with the victims of ACTUAL sexual abuse, homophobia, racism and strongly condemn any actions or sentiment of this kind, ALWAYS! There is NO room for this in our beloved metal community (or anywhere else). Accusations related to any kind of abuse or assault should always be taken seriously. Sexual harassment does happen and it is horrible. But false accusations do also happen and can also very easily and rapidly destroy lives, relationships and careers. Unfortunately, we experienced this first hand and this keeps chasing us to this very day. It is very unfortunate and disrespectful that some people are trying to take this away from real survivors of abuse.
"After months of hard work together with our team, we were very excited to announce our 25 year anniversary tour this week. In case some venue or promoter would still want to cancel our show, it would sadden us deeply but we will respect that decision and move on.
"We cannot wait to hit the road again after these challenging Covid times and hope to see many of you on one (or more) of our below tour dates.
Thank you once again to everyone who has supported us over the years."
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."
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 last month 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.