Last year, the metal community was shocked when Polish death metal band Decapitated were arrested on rape and kidnapping charges stemming from an incident that took place in Spokane on August 31st. The band were in jail for the majority of the last half of the year, with the band scheduled to stand trial for the gang rape of a woman following their show. However, with the trial scheduled to begin on January 16th, prosecutors have elected to drop all rape and kidnapping charges against the band, citing “the well being of the victim.”
The Spokesman-Review says that the state’s case against the band, Waclaw Kieltyka, 35, Michal Lysejko, 27, Rafal Piotrowski, 31, and Hubert Wiecek, 30, hinged on testimony from two women who claimed they were held against their will on the band’s bus, and one of them was able to escape. It’s uncertain why the prosecutor dropped the case, but the band’s defense was planning to cast doubt on the victim over an encounter with law enforcement when she lied about injuries sustained by a boyfriend. The band had been out of jail since last year, but had to stay in Washington until the trial. This clears the way for them to return to Poland. However, the reason for dropping the charges (the well being of the victim) means that the band could still be prosecuted in the future.
UPDATE: While the story is still developing, Decapitated 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.”