According to the Associated Press, the four members of the Polish extreme metal band DECAPITATED pleased not guilty Tuesday (October 24) to charges of kidnapping and raping a woman on their tour bus nearly two months ago.
31-year-old singer Rafal Piotrowski was charged with first-degree kidnapping and second-degree rape, 30-year-old bassist Hubert Wiecek was charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree rape, 35-year-old guitarist Waclaw Kieltyka was charged with first-degree kidnapping and second-degree rape and 27-year-old drummer Michal Lysejko was charged with first-degree kidnapping and third-degree rape.
A Polish interpreter explained the court proceedings to the musicians over a speakerphone after which they entered their pleas in English.
Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese set trial for December 18, though she said that date is very likely to be postponed.
The DECAPITATED members had their bonds set at $100,000 and were forced to surrender their passports to their attorneys. They also aren't allowed to talk to each other while incarcerated.
Piotrowski's attorney, Jeffry Finer, told The Spokesman-Review over the weekend that his client and his bandmates will be pursuing bail, but are waiting on documents from Poland to "impress the court." He said: "Among this group, there are a number of advanced degrees and zero criminal history."
The woman alleged she was gang-raped by the musicians in their tour bus bathroom after DECAPITATED's August 31 concert with THY ART IS MURDER at The Pin concert venue in downtown Spokane as part of the two bands' "Double Homicide" tour. The woman said entered the bus for drinks with the band before each member forced themselves on her.
Deputies later stated the victim had "significant bruising to her upper arms consistent with being restrained" and "small abrasions on her knuckles that were scabbed over."
All four members of DECAPITATED were arrested on September 9 in Santa Ana, California after performing at the Observatory. They were held in Los Angeles County Jail before being extradited to Spokane.
DECAPITATED announced in September that it was canceling all previously announced tour dates. The band also publicly denied the accusations.
In a statement earlier this month, the DECAPITATED members said that the charges against them were pressed "as a procedural formality," adding that "without doing so, [the police] would be forced to release band. This is not a conviction or any indication of guilt or innocence."
The musicians went on to say: "Some facts are indisputable at this point — that the original officer who took the complaint from the accuser stated, 'I do not have probable cause that a rape occurred,' and it's taken a full thirty days to file charges, which is right up against the point at which the defendants would legally have had to be released.
"The band firmly refutes the allegations and are confident that once the facts and evidence have been seen and heard, they will be released and able to return home."