“Fuck you for hurting so many people”

6 mins read
Justin Sane of Anti-Flag

Justin Sane’s former Anti-Flag bandmates have shared a statement after more women came forward accusing Sane of sexual assault this week.

Allegations against Sane had first surfaced in July when a woman claimed on a podcast than she had been raped by a punk singer, who initially wasn’t named. Anti-Flag subsequently disbanded, but Sane later released a statement in which he called the allegations “categorically false”.

His former bandmates released a separate statement regarding the split and allegations that read: “A core tenet of the band Anti-Flag is to listen to and believe all survivors of sexual violence and abuse. The recent allegations about Justin are in direct contradiction to that tenet. Therefore, we felt the only immediate option was to disband.”

Now, after twelve more women came forward in a new report by Rolling Stone this week to allege abuse by Sane, the other band members – Pat Thetic, Chris Barker (aka ‘Chris 2’) and Chris Head – have shared a statement by email, partly directed at their former bandmate.

“In light of the recent article in Rolling Stone magazine, to Kristina, Jenn, Molly, Rebecca, Suzanne, Mat, Susie, Stefanie, Karina, Ella, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Tali, we would like to say thank you for your courage in sharing the pain you have experienced,” they wrote. “And, to others who may yet come forward, while you don’t owe anyone your story, please know that you are not alone and that we believe you.”

Addressing Sane, they added: “To Justin, we believe you are very sick and in need of serious professional help. We want to have compassion and have faith in restorative justice, but fuck you for hurting so many people, not just the ones who have bravely come forward, but anyone still carrying their pain internally.

“Fuck you for exploiting the work of the band and the many people associated with it for so long. As many predators do, it appears you used our beliefs as a cover for egregious activities that you clearly knew we would never condone.”

Justin Sane. Credit: Stephen J Cohen/Getty

The band’s statement added: “To everyone, we collectively and individually still have far more questions than answers in this moment. We have been learning of and processing all of this information in real-time. We trusted Justin greatly and are now learning that we were deceived, lied to, and kept in the dark for the entirety of our association.

“As more details have been shared since the release of the podcast, we have been waiting for Justin to do the right thing. Given his lack of contrition in any meaningful way, it is very clear that he is absolutely not the person we were led to believe him to be.”

The Rolling Stone report published the accounts of numerous other women accusing Sane of sexual assault in incidents that date from the ’90s to as recently as 2020. Their accounts follow a similar pattern – Sane would allegedly make eye contact with them while performing and then approach them after the show. Many of these women claim they were much younger than Sane when these incidents happened, and the piece also accuses Sane having sex with teenagers. One of these incidents allegedly involved a 12-year-old (though Sane was a teenager at the time).

Some of the women allege that their encounters with Sane were violent and non-consensual. One of them is said to have reported an incident to the police, claiming Sane had handcuffed and assaulted her, in the UK in 2020. The woman involved said police had decided not to prosecute.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, the other Anti-Flag members said: “We trusted everyone associated with the band to maintain a safe and respectful environment. The understanding that abusers can be anywhere further reinforces the importance of survivors speaking out and sharing their stories.… Further, we feel strongly that all predators must atone for their inappropriate actions and be held accountable.”

Sane did not respond to requests for comment.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN

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