Decapitated Comment on Ongoing Issues Stemming From 2017 Sexual Assault Accusations
Decapitated have released a statement about ongoing issues they are facing stemming from sexual assault accusations leveled their way in 2017, claiming that people have been using those past allegations to attempt to have shows canceled on their upcoming tour of the U.K. and Europe.
An unidentified woman accused all four Decapitated band members of rape while on tour in Spokane, WA in August of 2017. They were arrested on September 8, charged with kidnapping and rape (in varying degrees) — denying all the charges — and remained in jail until December, when they posted bail and returned home. A trial was set for January of 2018 but was dropped by the prosecution before it could proceed, with prosecutors citing concern for the well-being of the alleged victim, the band’s defense attorney citing a previous record of the alleged victim lying to the police, and the band citing new evidence proving their innocence as reasons the case would not move forward.
Since their release, Decapitated have returned to touring, although not in the U.S. Guitarist Wacław Kiełtyka (aka Vogg) has also joined Machine Head, replacing that band’s long-time member Phil Demmel. Just last week, Decapitated announced a 25th anniversary tour of the U.K. and Europe in early 2022.
In their new statement, the first time the band has publicly addressed the issue since 2018, the members of Decapitated collectively express hesitance to open old wounds but a compulsion to do so as a result of efforts to bring down their newly announced tour. While saying they “strongly” condemn issues of “actual sexual abuse,” they maintain and stress their innocence in the 2017 incident, saying “We have known the truth and the truth will always win.”
The full statement reads as follows:
“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.”