At the motel, Sarhadi claims that Justin Sane screamed, “Football Tackle!” and tackled her onto the bed, then strangled her and forced her to perform oral sex. She says she was crying and repeatedly told him to stop, but he ignored her, penetrating her vagina with his penis and eventually passing out on top of her. She says she was able to escape his hotel room without waking him.
Sarhadi says the incident left her with a number of psychological injuries, and that she has had treatment for “C-PTSD, clinical depression, ADHD resulting from trauma, emotional hyperarousal, and rejection sensitivity dysphoria.” She is seeking damages for lost income and medical and mental health costs, accusing Justin Sane of assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She also accuses Hardwork and Doe 1 of negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
In her statement, Sarhadi says that, when she first shared her story, she did so for her “own personal healing” and “had no intention of naming Justin or pursuing a lawsuit.” But hearing from other alleged survivors of abuse at his hands encouraged her to take action. “In the last five months I have learned the levels of his depravity and witnessed the inaction of those around him who could have and should have intervened to protect us,” she says.
Dr. Ann Olivarius, an attorney for Sarhadi, said in her own statement, “I predict that in five years the music industry will be viewed the same way as the Catholic Church or the Boy Scouts—a powerful force that also enabled and shielded sexual predators for decades. ‘Drugs, sex & rock ‘n roll’ was a reality that meant a lot of young women got abused. The bands had handlers who made it all happen and executives who covered it all up because so much money depended on it.”
After the first allegation surfaced, several women came forward with similar accusations of predatory behavior and sexual abuse by Justin Sane, as the lawsuit notes. At the time, the other members of Anti-Flag released a statement condemning him and thanking the survivors for coming forward. Pitchfork has emailed Justin Sane for comment.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
Crisis Text Line
SMS: Text “HELLO” or “HOLA” to 741-741