Anti-Flag Singer Justin Sane Sued for Sexual Assault
Anti-Flag frontman Justin Sane has been sued over an alleged sexual assault. The lawsuit comes in the wake of a tumultuous year for the group, as they split earlier this year after Sane was initially accused by multiple women of predatory behavior, sexual assault and statutory rape.
Rolling Stone obtained details of the lawsuit, which was filed by Kristina Sarhadi, a New York holistic therapist and health coach. The suit was filed Wednesday (Nov. 22) in New York against Justin Geever, the real name of the Anti-Flag musician.
In addition to the musician, she's also named the band's distribution company while seeking an unspecified amount.
In a statement, the plaintiff commented, “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.”
This is not the first time Sarhadi has spoken about her experience with the musician, initially detailing her story on the Enough podcast back in July. At the time, she detailed an October 2010 encounter with an unnamed activist punk musician who had assaulted her. Though initially choosing to keep the identity of Geever private, she eventually confirmed that it was the Anti-Flag vocalist.
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“It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced,” Sarhadi said at the time. “I can’t stress how violent he was and how much I fully believed I was going to die, that he was going to kill me.”
In her account, she detailed how they had gone to a party together and that the musician invited her back to his motel room to check out an unreleased song. Once inside the room, she alleged that Geever restrained and began to strangle her before allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
Per Rolling Stone, the suit alleges, “When she could breathe, she repeatedly pleaded with him to stop. 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.”
After Sarhadi initially shared her story, Anti-Flag deleted their social media pages and announced that they were disbanding.
Though Geever publicly denied Sarhadi's claim, explaining that he had "never engaged in a sexual relationship that was not consensual," a follow-up investigation published by Rolling Stone in September found 12 women who had accused the musician of predatory behavior, sexual assault and statutory rape in multiple cases dating back to the 1990s.
“The decision to file a lawsuit takes great courage and is often not possible for so many survivors of sexual assault,” said Sarhadi’s attorney, Karen Barth Menzies. “Accountability is only attainable when survivors stand up for themselves and each other.”
The lawsuit was filed under the New York Adult Survivors Act, which allowed for a one-year window for victims of sexual offenses to file a suit against their abuser regardless of the statute of limitations. That window closes on Thursday (Nov. 23).
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Gallery Credit: Philip Trapp