On Saturday (September 9th 2017) morning, at approximately 2:00AM, all four members of Polish death metal outfit Decapitated were arrested in Santa Ana, California for suspicion of kidnapping a woman. According to reports, the alleged incident occurred after the band’s show in Spokane, Washington on August 31st 2017.
Spokane Police Department spokesperson, Corporal Teresa Fuller, said that their department received the report by the woman before 2:00AM local time on September 1st 2017, and the members were then subsequently arrested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office after their Santa Ana concert on the Friday (September 8th 2017).
The band were on a co-headline tour across the US with Thy Art Is Murder as part of The Double Homicide Tour, with the line-up completed by Fallujah and Ghost Bath.
Following their arrest, and according to documents released on September 11th 2017, it was confirmed that the band members have also been accused of performing gang-rape on the victim.
As outlined in an article by local publication The Spokesman-Review (here), the reports detail that the victim and her friend attended the show at The Pin in Spokane, Washington, and then tried to get pictures with the drummer from another band afterward.
The two women then began talking with members of Decapitated who invited them to have drinks on the tour bus parked outside of the venue. One woman “described being excited to be on the bus, and then one of the band members began grabbing her breasts,” court documents say. “He was later identified as the drummer, Michal Lysejko.”
The same woman “was uncomfortable and said the band members began speaking to each other in Polish”, court documents say. “She described the ‘vibe’ in the bus changed, and one of the members began looking at them like they were prey.”
The woman said she looked at her friend “to signal they needed to get out of there”. She then used the bathroom and was followed by the lead singer, Piotrowski, according to court documents.
The woman told police Piotrowski began kissing her as she finished using the bathroom, and she began resisting when he started undoing her belt, according to court documents. She said she wanted to leave the bus with her friend, but a band member indicated her friend had already left, saying, “You have to have fun. She left you.”
The woman “attempted to push Piotrowski away, but he grabbed her arm and spun her around to where she was facing the sink and mirror in the bathroom”, court documents say. “She saw in the mirror and out of the corner of her eye each of the band members taking turns raping her.”
The friend, meanwhile, said she watched the band members rape the other woman, and Piotrowski asked her to perform oral sex on him. When the friend refused, court documents say, “she was pushed to the ground and received bruises to her knees and shins.”
Shortly after leaving the tour bus and driving away, at approximately 12:43PM, the friend was pulled over on North Washington Street near West Boone Avenue on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to court documents.
In the back seat of a patrol car, the friend was allowed to use her mobile phone to call the other woman, who reported the rape. A state trooper said he couldn’t help without a specific location, and proceeded with his DUI investigation.
The alleged victim “described her body as feeling broken”, court documents say. “After an unknown amount of time”, she told police, “Waclaw (Kieltyka) helped her put her clothing on and carried her out of the bus with another male”.
She walked north from The Pin and called several family members before calling 911, according to court documents. An officer found her near North Post Street and West Buckeye Avenue, about 2 miles from the venue. The officer also stopped by The Pin and “checked the area for the tour bus, but the band had already left Spokane for their next venue.”
The woman was taken to Providence Holy Family Hospital for a sexual assault examination.
Detectives noted she had “significant bruising to her upper arms consistent with being restrained” and “small abrasions to her knuckles that were scabbed over.” During the rape, she said, she “was digging her fist into the wall to try and distract herself from what was happening.”
Court documents say that detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office interviewed the band members on Thursday.
Lysejko, the drummer, “made no comment other than he did not know who the girls were” when shown a picture of them. “He said he would not talk without using a translator”, court documents say.
Kieltyka, the lead guitarist, told detectives he saw both Piotrowski and Wiecek engaged in a sex acts with the woman in the bathroom. He agreed to have a DNA swab collected as evidence.
Piotrowski, the vocalist, “admitted there was a party on the bus and (the women) were present. He then requested an attorney and a translator refusing to make any further statements”, court documents say. He declined to give a DNA sample.
Wiecek, the bassist, admitted the women had been on the bus, but said he “sat on the couch and did not see what was going on”, court documents say. “He then said he needed a translator so he did not misspeak. He also said no one was forced to get on the bus. He then said he did not recall what happened”. He also declined to give a DNA sample.
A fifth man, Wojciech Cichocki, told detectives he was asleep in the cab of the tour bus and never saw the woman who reported being raped. Cichocki said he “only briefly” saw the friend who was later pulled over. “He also made a reference to (her) Instagram account but would not elaborate on it”, court documents say.
The four members are currently held in the Los Angeles County Jail without bail and awaiting extradition to Spokane, and it is said that additional charges are possible.
The band appeared in Los Angeles court yesterday (September 12th 2017), where the members took turns in front of a judge agreeing to be extradited. They all had a Polish translator while a representative from the Polish consulate sat in the courtroom.
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) September 13, 2017
The case is still under investigation. The Spokane Police Department‘s Special Victim’s Unit (SVU) are said to be looking for additional witnesses who may have any further information on what happened.
Defence attorney Steve Graham of Spokane said he was hired by the band after they became aware of the investigation, and has confirmed that the band would not fight extradition.
Speaking on behalf of the defence, Graham said, “There is another side to this. We have witnesses that can testify to the fact that the accuser came to visit the band of her own free will and left on good terms. Decapitated plan to fully fight the allegations that are brought against them, and we are fully confident that the other side of this story will be heard.”
The band’s seventh studio album, ‘Anticult’, was released on July 7th 2017 through Nuclear Blast Records.
All of the band’s forthcoming tour commitments are expected to be cancelled within the coming weeks, subject to the outcome of the investigation.
More information surrounding this news and the case will be confirmed as they develop.