Anti-Flag vocalist Justin Sane sued for sexual assault, band members implicated
According to a Rolling Stone article published today (11/22), Kristina Sarhadi is bringing a lawsuit against Justin Sane, the frontman of the now-disbanded punk-rock group Anti-Flag, for alleged sexual assault.
Sarhadi, a holistic therapist and health coach from New York, accused Sane, legally named Justin Geever, in a lawsuit filed in New York. The lawsuit also targets the band's distribution company, with members Patrick Bollinger (Pat Thetic), Chris Head, and Chris Barker (Chris No. 2) implicated.
Sarhadi claims Geever used his status to manipulate and harm young women, hiding his alleged predatory nature behind his public advocacy for women's protection. Geever has denied Sarhadi's accusations, asserting his relationships have always been consensual.
Sarhadi initially shared her experience on the Enough podcast, recounting a disturbing encounter in October 2010 with Geever, which she described as extremely violent and life-threatening.
Following her podcast revelation, Anti-Flag abruptly disbanded after 35 years, deleting its social media presence. A further investigation detailed accusations by 12 women against Geever for sexual misconduct dating back to the 1990s. These allegations portray Geever as exploiting his influence for sexual gains, contradicting the band's public image.
The lawsuit implicates the band's other members for failing to protect fans and enforce appropriate policies. It cites the need for accountability and courage from survivors in confronting sexual assault within the music industry. The band had previously released a statement expressing their shock, confusion, and sadness over the situation.
A letter given by Geever to "Suzanne", one of the alleged victims:
Sarhadi's legal action is part of a broader movement under New York's Adult Survivors Act, allowing victims to file civil suits regardless of the statute of limitations. The act has seen several high-profile lawsuits in its final days, highlighting the systemic issues of abuse in various sectors.
Sarhadi's attorney, Karen Barth Menzies, says:
The decision to file a lawsuit takes great courage and is often not possible for so many survivors of sexual assault. Accountability is only attainable when survivors stand up for themselves and each other.
Another Sarhadi attorney, Dr. Ann Olivarius, said:
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.