All Rape & Kidnapping Charges Against DECAPITATED Dismissed "Without Prejudice"
Decapitated are free men as all charges against them were dropped "citing the well-being of the alleged victim" according to a tweet from reporter Jonathan Glover who has been following the story for The Spokesman-Review.
Decapitated was arrested on September 9 in Santa Ana, California, on charges that the band allegedly raped a woman in Spokane, Washington after a show on August 31. The band and its attorney have vehemently denied these claims. Guitarist Waclaw Kieltyka was charged with first-degree kidnapping and second-degree rape and drummer Michal Lysejko was charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree rape. Meanwhile, vocalist Rafal Piotrowski is charged with first-degree kidnapping and second-degree rape, and bassist Hubert Wiecek is charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree rape.
UPDATE: According to Glover's just-filed report, Decapitated may still be charged in the future:
On Friday – 11 days before the Jan. 16 trial date – Spokane County prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald filed a motion dropping all rape and kidnapping charges without prejudice, meaning the four men could be prosecuted in the future. The motion cites “the well being of the victim” and “in the interest of justice” as a reason for dismissal.
According to the report, the bruises on the victim's arms were being explained as mosh pit injuries:
“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,” attorney Steve Graham said. “There’s no question from our perspective that the case against these four guys was falling apart.”
Update #2: The band just released the following statement:
“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.”
Decapitated maintained their innocence throughout the legal proceedings with their lawyer Steven Graham noting "the original officer who took the complaint from the accuser stated, 'I do not have probable cause that a rape occurred.'" Graham also stated “The accuser has a documented history of providing false information to the police dating back to 2014.”
BREAKING: Spokane County prosecutors have dropped all rape and kidnapping charges against the four members of the Polish death metal band Decapitated, citing the well-being of the alleged victim. Story soon.
— Jonathan Glover (@glovetrain) January 5, 2018