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The Casualties Exit From Riot Fest Lineup, Amid Petition Highlighting Assault Accusations

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 14, 2017 4:28PM

The Casualties, photo via Facebook

The Casualties are no longer a part of Riot Fest's lineup. The band's exit from the lineup comes ahead of a petition calling for the band's removal from the annual three-day music fest that has been circulating this week.

Reps for Riot Fest confirmed to Chicagoist Wednesday morning that The Casualties were no longer playing, citing scheduling conflict as the reason.

"The band had to pull off for what appeared to be a scheduling conflict and informed RF last Thursday that they would no longer be able to perform," according to Riot Fest spokeswoman Heather West.

The petition, which referred to a blog post from 2013 in which a woman says she was assaulted by the band's singer, had called on the fest to remove The Casualties from the lineup. The woman wrote that she was sexually assaulted by the singer when she was 16 years old. After she broke free from the alleged assault, she writes, another band member went to her and apologized, saying "You don't even have to tell me what happened because I already know."

"In the second wave [of announcements, Riot Fest] revealed The Casualties (whose singer has been accused of sexual misconduct, spanning 20 years, by multiple women) would also share the bill," the petition reads. "It is everyone's responsibility to keep women safe and by allowing this man access to such a massive audience sends all the wrong messages.
We demand that Riot Fest stand with victims, and support the women of our community, by removing them from the line up."

The Casualties released a statement about the allegations against frontman Jorge Herrara back in 2014, and did not immediately respond to Chicagoist's recent request for comment through their publicist.

"The story was fully disproved and the person spreading this accusation never provided any corroborating evidence to it happening. In fact the opposite happened. Multiple people with direct ties to the accuser have stepped forward to tell the band why they know this accusation to be complete lie," One excerpt from the statement reads. "One even went so far as to offer to step forward and to speak to attorneys or law enforcement if need be to clear Jorge’s name. However legal action was considered but due to U.S. laws never taken."

The much longer full statement can be found here.