Back in January, the Polish death metal band ‘Decapitated’ were acquitted of all charges against them of allegedly kidnapping and raping a woman in Spokane, Washington after a show back in August 2017.
The band were arrested in Santa Ana, California back on September 9th 2017 whilst they were midway through a co-headline tour of North America with Thy Art Is Murder, all charges were dismissed before it went to trial.
Now their guitarist Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka has issued a statement on behalf of the band and is the first statement issued since their release.
“We are innocent. We are free. We are back home. And we are ready to return with the band.
The last few months were one of the most terrible and irrational times in our lives.
Jail is a horrible place. 96 days in jail and almost a month outside the jail where we dealing with fear, unbelievable stress, depression, and even violence. It was a really hard time – especially for our families.
Being in jail in another country with charges that became a criminal case is an extreme experience. We do not wish this on anyone. It caused ourselves and our families many stressful days and sleepless nights. The cancelled tour meant loss of the income we use to support ourselves and our families, but worst of all, it cost us our professional reputation in a community we have loved and been members of all of our lives.
Unfortunately, while we were jailed, we could not communicate with the outside world, leaving our fans and our metal community to read many news stories and posts on social media that contained inaccurate information because there were no direct statements from us, the band, the ones in the middle of all of this. We ourselves could not report on how the situation was unfolding. This led people who were so shocked by the news to make untrue narrations. Without walking our experience with us, they felt obligated to comment on our case and blamed us, without even knowing the facts that said something opposite. They came to a very fast opinion about us in a very public way.
In this internet age, it is really easy to ruin someone, their life, their family, their career. Some media and people just jumped on a topic and made their own inconsistent storytelling, taking one piece of information and creating a story they wanted to tell about us around it.
For those who do not know yet: Our case was dropped. All charges against all members were dropped.
Words hurt. Words matter. Truth matters.
Does sexual harassment happen and do crimes against women exist? Yes, and it is horrible.
Do false accusations happen? Yes, this really happens. And it is also horrible.
Many people are falsely accused every day and the metal community is not immune. Unfortunately, it happened to us. People with their own motivations who falsely accuse someone don’t seem to understand they can ruin somebody’s life without facing any public consequences themselves. A false accusation can change a life in one moment. One day, everything is normal. Then the next day, you wake up in jail with a police record. You are marked, stigmatized while waiting to see how things unfold, even if the charges are not true. And then, when it’s all over, it is not a “hot topic” on the internet anymore. Not many people spend time on social media to spread the truth, not many people even care what the truth was. It is hard to feel relief when this happens.
We cannot and we will never accept someone else’s narration about who we are. That is why we have chosen to return with the band. We know who we are and we can hold our heads and our music high with that knowledge.
I want to thank all of you – families, friends, other bands, and our amazing fans – for your belief in us and your support throughout a horrible situation. Our incredible lawyers, Steve Graham, Karren Lindholdt, Chris Bugbee, Jeffry Finner, and all the teams who stood by us – our management and our label. It’s priceless to see that we have so many people who were, are, and will be, with us. You know who you are.
I also want to thank Mr. Dominik Tarczynski from the Polish Parliament who visited us in Spokane and checked if our human rights were protected during the whole process, for supporting our families from the beginning. It means a lot more than words can express.
There will be more time in the future to talk about the path of our return, but now the most important thing for us is to get back to our lives, to return to the people and places and things that had been taken from us, to return to what became even more precious to us while we were away.
We are eager to get our lives back and we are grateful for the opportunity.
We are really sorry we were forced to cancel tours and festivals, but we will work very hard to bring all plans back to meet with all of you again, our community.
“From Pain To Strength” is still a valid motto.
Thank you, everyone, for your patience.