According to The Spokesman-Review, 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.
Less than two weeks before the musicians were scheduled to go on trial for allegedly kidnapping and raping a woman on their tour bus four months ago, Spokane County prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald filed a motion dismissing all rape and kidnapping charges. The motion cites “the well being of the victim” as a reason for dropping the charges without prejudice, meaning the four members of Decapitated could be prosecuted in the future.
Steve Graham, attorney for guitarist Waclaw Kieltyka, said:
We feel it was the result of everyone taking a second look at this matter in light of new evidence. They are headed back home this week.
The other three bandmembers are 27-year-old drummer Michal Lysejko, 31-year-old singer Rafal Piotrowski and 30-year-old bassist Hubert Wiecek.
Defense attorneys questioned the credibility of the accuser, who in 2014 admitted to lying to police about injuries she sustained during an assault, when her boyfriend was accused of stabbing three people. It was later determined that she was actually injured by her boyfriend during a previous argument.
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.
The woman alleged she was gang-raped by the musicians in their tour bus bathroom after Decapitated’s August 31 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. He said in the court documents:
She was smashing her hands, arms and body against the metal barricade between the audience and the stage.
All four members of Decapitated were arrested on September 9 in Santa Ana, California after performing at the Observatory. They were held in Los Angeles County Jail before being extradited to Spokane.
Decapitated announced in September that it was canceling all previously announced tour dates. The band also publicly denied the accusations.
In a statement, the Decapitated members said:
The original officer who took the complaint from the accuser stated, “I do not have probable cause that a rape occurred”. Confident that once the facts and evidence have been seen and heard, they will be released and able to return home.