Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane sued for sexual assault

Former Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane is being sued by a woman for sexual assault.

In a lawsuit filed in New York on Wednesday (November 22) and obtained by Rolling Stone, Kristina Sarhadi, a New York holistic therapist and health coach, is suing Sane – real name Justin Geever – and the band’s distribution company for an unspecified amount.

In a statement, Sarhadi has said: “Justin Geever used his platform as a celebrated, self-proclaimed ‘punk rock star’ to groom and lure vulnerable girls into feeling safe in his presence.”

“While he sang about protecting women and standing up to abusers, it appears he was hiding an addiction to power and control, harming countless women who have been unable to speak up before now. Today I hope to encourage his survivors, and survivors of other predators in the music industry, to feel hope again.”

Anti-Flag perform during Riot Fest 2021 (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Neither Geever nor his former bandmates have responded to requests for comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Geever invited Sarhadi into his motel room and restrained and strangled her, before forcing her to perform oral sex on him. “When she could breathe, she repeatedly pleaded with him to stop,” it alleges. “She was shocked and crying. He was mean and violent with Plaintiff; she did not matter and was just an object for him to dominate.”

In July, the band announced their sudden split, without giving any kind of explanation. They deleted all of their social media accounts and their official website.

On the same day, an episode of the podcast Enough was released, in which a woman spoke about being raped by a singer in a political punk band. She did not name the band or singer, but many speculated at the time that she was referring to Geever. It has now been confirmed that this woman was Sarhadi.

A few days after the split, Geever issued a statement: “Recently, there have been claims of sexual assault made against me and I can tell you that these stories are categorically false. I have never engaged in a sexual relationship that was not consensual, nor have I ever been approached by a woman after a sexual encounter and been told I had in any way acted without her consent or violated her in any way. Now that I have had a few days to absorb the initial shock, I am making this statement to set the record straight.

He continued: “In regard to Anti-flag disbanding, as a band, the decision was made that under these circumstances it would be impossible to continue,” adding “I want to thank my family and friends, and the many, many fans, musicians, and bands who have reached out to me to offer their support and help.”

In a separate statement, the rest of the band – Pat Thetic, Chris Barker and Chris Head – 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.”

They continued: “We have been shocked, confused, saddened and absolutely heartbroken from the moment we heard these allegations. While we believe this is extremely serious, in the last 30 years we have never seen Justin be violent or aggressive toward women. This experience has shaken us to our core.

“We understand and apologize that this response may not have been quick enough for some people. This is new territory for all of us and it is taking time for us to process the situation,” they said, adding “It was a privilege for us to be in the band Anti-Flag, as we seek to find our path forward we wish healing to all survivors.”

In September, it was reported that twelve more women had come forward to allege that Geever had sexually assaulted them 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).

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

The post Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane sued for sexual assault appeared first on NME.

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