Here we go again.
Sydney pop-punk force, With Confidence, are now the latest group to become caught up in a sex scandal, following Brand New’s Jesse Lacey and Hollywood film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s spectacular fall from grace (among many others), with allegations that guitarist Luke “Rockets” Thomas was at one point inappropriately messaging an underage female fan.
In now publically-made screenshots seen by KYS (that we won’t just lazily share here), a Facebook profile purported to be of Thomas, who was 22 at the time of the alleged incident, is seen engaging in talks of a sexual nature with a 14-year old female fan.
“My friend got very into them [With Confidence], specifically their guitarist Luke “Rockets”“, said a friend of the alleged victim (who we won’t name here so that they aren’t further hassled or questions) in a post to Facebook early Monday evening, adding “She was 14 at the time, and he was 22, about to turn 23.”
“She developed a crush on him, just like any other 14-year old would have,” the friend continued. The alleged victim became known to the band, eventually befriending some of the band members on the social media site. “We met them so many times that they even got to know who we were, and would recognise us occasionally, and we became friends on Facebook,” said the friend.
The friend then said Thomas and the alleged victim began talking after she was unable to attend a show that the guitarist’s band was playing in Sydney. “In April of 2016, after my friend was unable to fly to Sydney for one of their gigs, she messaged Luke to apologise for not making it and asked how the show was. That’s when they started talking“, she said.
The friend continued. “At first they exchanged casual messages, and the conversation was pretty normal, enough that she began to feel like they were actually becoming friends.”
From there, the chats are alleged to have taken a more sinister, sexual turn.
“It escalated incredibly quickly, and what originally was just innocent compliments suddenly turned into inappropriate comments,” states the friend. “He began to ask about her feet in a really undesirable manner, and slowly the conversation acquired a sexual nature. He asked about her kinks and other adult concepts,”.
“I’d like to stress that he [Thomas] was aware that my friend was underage since he knew that we could not get into their 18+ shows,” she added. The friend stated the guitarist had asked what year level the alleged victim was in at school. “At one point he asked about what grade she was in, and she purposely lied and said she was in the grade above, in Year 10, because she was afraid he would stop talking to her if he thought she was too young,” mentions the victim’s friend.
“Either way, Year 10 was just one year older than we were, which is in the 15/16 year old age range,” she added. Thomas was 23 at the time, according to the alleged victim’s friend. “At this point, he was already 23, and the sexual nature of the conversations had begun[sic] to escalate more,” she said. “She would never directly say that she was uncomfortable, but in some cases, she would not reply and make excuses as to why she hadn’t,” also added the friend.
The alleged victim’s friend stated they wanted to “get the story out there, especially because so many of us are unaware of the things our own idols could have done.”
“It’s sad that so many of these cases go undiscovered, but we are no longer willing to stay quiet about this man,” she said. “He [Thomas] was disgusting and manipulative, he took advantage of a minor knowing that he could get what he wanted and that she would not say anything because she did not want to ruin his career. This is yet another reason why it has taken her so long to speak up, but I am more than glad that she finally is because this sexual predator deserves to be exposed,” the alleged victim’s friend concluded.
Social media has been awash with chatter on these allegations of late, with even Bring Me The Horizon member Jordan Fish recently tweeting “@lukewithcon wtf is wrong with you”. The band were also just dropped from Knuckle Puck’s US tour as well.
We have reached to With Confidence over email for comment, but they have yet to respond at the time of publishing. In a recent article on Hysteria, the guitarist himself has apparently responded to the accusations, somewhat vaguely yet still scarily threatening suicide, with no further context been given.
We’ll update this story for you as more comes to light.
Update #1: and he’s out!
Update #2: the band deny knowing what Luke was up to.
Update #3: a second victim has recently come forward with her own experiences with Luke when she was a teenager – her story (with a link to photos of their conversations) can be found here.