According to the Spokane Spokesman, prosecutors for the county have dropped the rape charges against all four members of Polish metal band Decapitated.
According to the newspaper this means the four members of the band, Waclaw Kieltyka, 35, Michal Lysejko, 27, Rafal Piotrowski, 31, and Hubert Wiecek, 30, will be able to eventually return to their country of Poland without facing jail time.
The four members were accused of kidnapping and gang raping a fan on their tour bus following a show in Spokane on August 31st. They were scheduled to face trial at Spokane County Superior Court on January 16th. Today prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald filed a motion to drop both the kidnapping and rape charges against the four members. The charges were dropped without prejudice, which means that they can be revisited at some point in the future.
The reasons given for dropping the charges were “the well being of the victim” and was done “in the interest of justice.” According to the newspaper, new evidence had come into light recently that cast doubt on the state’s case against the band members. Jeffry Finer, attorney for Piotrowsk, said that the defendant was heavily involved in the decision to drop the charges.
On the night of the alleged attack the victim claims that members of the band forced her to stay on their bus where they raped her. When she was taken to the hospital doctors found abrasions and bruising on her body, which was some of the evidence used to charge the members of Decapitated. However and subsequent interviews it was revealed that the victim’s injuries could have been a result of the concert that happened before the alleged crimes.
“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,” said Kieltyka’s attorney Kieltyka. “There’s no question from our perspective that the case against these four guys was falling apart.”
UPDATE (1/8): The members of Decapitated have released a statement following the charges of rape and kidnapping being dropped by Spokane County prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald. In the short message, the band distill the reasoning behind the charges being dropped and thank their family, friends and fans for staying by their side. See the full message, which was originally published on Facebook, below:
“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.”