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:
The musicians continued, “To everyone, we collectively and individually still have far more questions than answers in this moment. We have been learning of and processing all of this information in real-time. 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.”
They also wrote, “As more details have been shared since the release of the podcast, we have been waiting for Justin to do the right thing. 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.”
At the end of their statement, Pat Thetic, Chris Head, and Chris No. 2 encouraged survivors of sexual violence to reach out to RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Hotline, the Center for Victims, and Pittsburgh Action Against Rape for support and assistance.
Anti-Flag announced their breakup in July without acknowledging allegations against Justin Sane. A few days after the announcement, Pat Thetic, Chris Head, and Chris No. 2 indicated that Kristina Sarhadi’s claims against Justin Sane led to the disbandment. “We have been shocked, confused, saddened and absolutely heartbroken from the moment we heard these allegations,” they wrote. “This experience has shaken us to our core.”
Justin Sane has denied “claims of sexual assault made against [him],” calling the allegations “categorically false.” In the new report, Cheyenne Roundtree wrote that Justin Sane did not respond to multiple requests from comment from Rolling Stone. Pitchfork has also emailed Justin Sane for comment on the allegations and the statement from his former bandmates.
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