SATYRICON Guitarists Charged With Rape; Tour Cancelled

SATYRICON guitarists Steinar Gundersen, 34, and A.O. Gronbech, 27, were arressted and charged for drugging and raping a woman in the band’s tour bus after their December 14th show in Toronto, Canada.

“I can confirm that the Norwegian consul in Toronto has been in contact with the arrestees, and followed up by, among other things, visiting them in jail and obtaining legal assistance,” said Anne Lene Dale Sandstein, press officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Norwegian TV 2 Nettavisen.

Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet reported that the crimes were committed after SATYRICON had performed at the Fun Haus venue in Toronto.

“A woman from Toronto explained that she went with the two Norwegian musicians to their tour bus,” said Toronto police spokesperson Kristin Bacharach to the paper. There she was reportedly drugged and sexually assaulted.

Bacharach confirmed that the two musicians have been arrested and are charged. DNA tests have been taken. If found guilty, the two musicians may be sentenced to ten years in prison.

As a result of the musicians’ arrests, the remaining dates on SATYRICON‘s North American tour with INFERNAL MAJESTY and 3 INCHES OF BLOOD were cancelled.

Another Norwegian newspaper, VG Nett, has reported that the attorney representing the two SATYRICON guitarists is hoping to get the musicians released on bail on December 30. Their criminal records (if any) in Norway will be used to determine whether or not they will be allowed to return to their home country while they await the start of a possible trial/court case. Bacharach said that up to a year can pass before a case such as this goes to trial.

The musicians involved are said to be baffled by the charges and believe they will be fully vindicated once all the facts have been presented in the case.

In an official statement released by the Norwegian law firm Gram, Hambro og Garmann, the two permanent members of SATYRICON — frontman Sigurd Wongraven (a.k.a. Satyr) and drummer Kjetil Haraldstad (a.k.a. Frost) — write that they are convinced of the two session musicians’ innocence:

“As a result of [Gundersen and Gronbech] being held in custody in Toronto, we have been forced to cancel the rest of our North American tour. We would like to apologize to our fans and our business partners.”

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