UPDATE: October 13 at 2:40 p.m. ET:
After having been formally charged with rape, Decapitated have now issued a statement on Facebook regarding the charges.
The statement explains that the charges have been pressed as a “procedural formality,” saying that the band are confident that once the “facts and evidence have been seen and heard,” they will be released.
Read the statement in full below:
An update – following extradition from California to Washington, the band has now been charged. We’d like to emphasise; the Spokane Police Department has pressed charges as procedural formality, without doing so, they would be forced to release band – this is not a conviction or any indication of guilt or innocence. Once again, we ask that everyone wait for each party’s case to be presented and await the court’s decision. With that said, whilst cases are being prepared on both sides, some facts are indisputable at this point – that the original officer who took the complaint from the accuser stated, “I do not have probable cause that a rape occurred”, and it’s taken a full 30 days to file charges, which is right up against the point at which the defendants would legally have had to be released.
The band firmly refutes the allegations and are confident that once the facts and evidence have been seen and heard, they will be released and able to return home.
Individuals who were present on the night in question with information about the case are asked to reach out to the defense lawyer, Steve Graham of Spokane, Washington.
ORIGINAL: October 13 at 11:53 a.m. ET:
Following allegations of kidnapping and sexual assault, all four members of Polish death metal band Decapitated have been formally charged with rape in Spokane County, according to the The Spokesman-Review.
As previously reported, all four members of the band were arrested following their Sept. 9 performance in Santa Ana, California, while on tour with Thy Art Is Murder. The four had already been charged with kidnapping in the first degree.
Now The Spokesman-Review are reporting that the rape charges have been confirmed and vary between the four: Rafal Piotrowski and Waclaw Kieltika have second-degree charges, while Mikola LLysejko and Hubert Wiecek have third-degree charges.
They also report that Waclaw Kieltyka will be appearing in Superior Court today, as announced by his attorney.
Read more: Decapitated arrested for alleged kidnapping
As Washington State Legislature explains, when the victim did not consent to sexual intercourse with the perpetrator “and such lack of consent was clearly expressed by the victim's words or conduct,” it constitutes rape to the third degree. When the victim is “incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated,” it constitutes rape to the second degree.
Decapitated's arrest stems from an Aug. 31 incident when the group allegedly abducted a woman after their Spokane show at a club called the Pin. Court documents released on Sept. 11 detail the alleged sexual assault in which the woman claims she was “raped by band members in their tour bus bathroom” and that she “entered the bus for drinks with the band before each member forced themselves on her.” The woman's friend reportedly told police that she was almost a victim of the attack herself but escaped the tour bus after kicking Piotrowski in the groin and running to her car.
On Sept. 9, the attorney said there is “another side” to the accusations.
“We have witnesses that can testify to the fact that the accuser came to visit the band of her own free will,” Graham told The Spokesman-Review previously. “The accuser has a documented history of providing false information to the police dating back to 2014.”
A police report provided to the defense offered differing accounts of the incident. The women contend they were invited onto the bus and offered drinks before the band members became aggressive and started groping them.
But a volunteer at the Pin, where the Aug. 31 concert took place, said the two women were “groping” and “all over” the lead singer and another member of the band (“feeling them up”) before they entered the tour bus. The volunteer said he later saw both women standing outside the bus door smoking a cigarette, and that the alleged victim seemed more “(angry) than anything.”
The woman who said she escaped the bus was stopped for a DUI later that night, according to the Spokesman-Review, and the State Trooper who made the stop said the woman didn't mention a sexual assault at the time.
It was when the trooper was parked outside of the Spokane County Jail and writing a search warrant for her blood that she asked to use her phone. There, the woman “spoke to someone on the phone and then said to him that her friend was raped by five men downtown,” police wrote in court documents.
In ensuing interviews, the alleged victim condemned law enforcement for lack of action following her friend's notification of the assault. The victim said officers “let [her] down” in a written complaint filed with the Spokane Police.
“Why was there no proaction when a young woman was crying for help [when] she just got raped by multiple men?” she wrote. “Please tell me how three squad police cars can show up to someone stealing, or petty theft, but when a woman's dignity is being taken away from her the police men just drive away?”
Decapitated, who have canceled all touring indefinitely, wrote on their Facebook page on Sept. 14: “While we are not perfect human beings, we are not kidnappers, rapists, or criminals. As such, we strongly deny the allegations that have recently been brought against us. We ask that everyone please reserve their judgement until a definitive outcome has been reached.”