Note: This article contains descriptions of alleged sexual assault that some readers may find disturbing.
Earlier this week, Rolling Stone published an exposé about the former Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane, who has been accused of abuse by 13 women. Among the women to speak with the publication was Kristin Sarhadi, a New York holistic therapist and health coach whose allegations of sexual assault against Justin Sane led to the band’s breakup.
In the report, written by Cheyenne Roundtree, 12 more women describe Justin Sane’s allegedly predatory and abusive behavior. One of the women, who is now 44 years old, claimed that Justin Sane statutorily raped her in 1990 when he was 17 years old and she was 12. Other women alleged that Justin Sane used his age and status to take advantage of them as younger fans. Multiple women interviewed for the article accused Justin Sane of sexual assault, including one who filed a police report in the United Kingdom. The alleged assault occurred in 2020, and police recently declined to move forward with the case because, police claim, the woman never told Justin Sane “no,” according to Rolling Stone.
Justin Sane’s former Anti-Flag bandmates, drummer Pat Thetic, guitarist Chris Head, and bassist Chris Barker (aka Chris No. 2), told Rolling Stone, “We trusted everyone associated with the band to maintain a safe and respectful environment.” The musicians continued, “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.”
Today, the former Anti-Flag members released a new statement about Justin Sane and the allegations against him. “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,” the musicians wrote in a statement emailed to Pitchfork. “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.”
They addressed Justin Sane directly, too, writing:
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.