"As many predators do, it appears you used our beliefs as a cover for egregious activities that you clearly knew we would never condone."
Former Anti-Flag band members Pat Thetic, Chris Head, and Chris Barker (aka Chris No. 2) have condemned vocalist Justin Sane after Rolling Stone unleashed a new report that saw thirteen women accuse the singer of sexual assault following the band’s shock disbandment in July.
Since their breakup came to light, so did potential allegations against Sane. Stereogum reported that an episode of the podcast Enough contained a woman’s allegations that an unnamed singer from an East Coast political punk band sexually assaulted her. Sane denied the allegations and called them “categorically false”.
This week, Rolling Stone unveiled a report where thirteen women came forward with allegations towards Sane, with Kristina Sarhadi, who featured in the Enough podcast, in the article. One woman, who is now 44 years old, claimed that Sane sexually assaulted her in 1990. He was 17, and she was 12. Multiple women alleged sexual assault took place, while one filed a police report in 2020 in the UK.
When the band broke up, Thetic, Head and Chris No. 2 said, “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.”
Since Rolling Stone’s report came to light, the former members of Anti-Flag released a new statement about the allegations towards Sane.
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“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 their former bandmate, their statement continued:
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.
Their statement added that at this stage, Thetic, Head and Chris No. 2 still have more questions than answers and feel betrayed as they process so much information in real-time. They continued, “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,” they said. “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 conclusion of the band’s statement urged survivors of sexual assault to reach out to US support and assistance centres such as RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Hotline, and more.
This article contains a discussion of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.