CONTENT WARNING: The following article discusses sexual assault and rape.
Former Of Mice & Men frontman Austin Carlile has been accused of sexual assault by several individuals, who have taken to social media to share their stories over the past days.
One of the accusers, Caitlyn Stiffler, has also alleged that punk outlet Alternative Press effectively buried the story after being contacted by a number of Carlile’s accusers. In a post on Facebook addressed to Alternative Press, Stiffler wrote “Remember when over 15 girls shared their stories with you about this serial rapist? Because I do. I was one of them.”
Stiffler’s husband Jonathan corroborated her account, tweeting, “A few years back, realizing the extent of the damage done, I organized a group of women (MANY) who had been raped or sexually assaulted by Austin Carlile over the years to be interviewed by Alternative Press. I knew him personally, I worked in the scene & I married one of his victims.”
“After months of interviewing victims and putting together the story, right before it was going to run – @AltPress killed it because they were open to being sued by Austin and his lawyers. This was devastating. So many recounted their worst memories and for what.”
Alternative Press initially responded to the accusation on Twitter, claiming that, “For legal purposes regarding the Austin Carlile accusations, the story couldn’t run as it was told. As a female-led, lgbtq+ editorial staff, we’re going to reopen this & find the answers you’re looking for. We do not condone any of the accusations & this story WILL be heard.”
Alternative Press have since posted a lengthy message to its website, apologising to survivors and responding to the accusation they buried the story, explaining their actions.
“To those individuals who have shared their stories with us, we do not condone violence or sexual misconduct in any form, and your story deserves to be told. We understand the potential depth of the hurt, and that it resonates, and we apologize,” reads the message from Alternative Press founder Mike Shea.
“The Austin Carlile story was never kept ‘under wraps.’ It was not published because we could not check all the boxes we, as journalists, must check,” it reads. “During the period that the allegations surfaced and an investigation began, accusations and scenarios came to light. From the information that we have been able to review, these claims were not verifiable by sources or through official legal documentation (formal complaints, police reports, witnesses, etc).”
“We promise to dedicate the necessary resources and time to more in-depth coverage of these serious issues. Yesterday, we created a new editorial committee that will be responsible for the thorough vetting and investigation into future stories such as these. We are also re-evaluating previously posted stories to ensure they are in line with the practices we are adhering to moving forward. ”
You can read the full statement from Alternative Press here.
Carlile, who left Of Mice & Men back in 2016, is yet to publicly respond to the allegations.
Earlier this week, the band’s current lineup issued a statement about the allegations. “Yesterday we heard for the first time of an alleged article that was written, and apparently subsequently shelved, regarding a former member of our band.
“This individual has not been a member of Of Mice & Men for almost four years and neither the band, nor the team around us, has had any part in suppressing any such article. We absolutely condemn sexual violence and harassment in any form.”
Image: Timothy Norris/Getty
If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732.
For help or information regarding mental health, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.
The views expressed by people and organisations quoted in this article are not the view of Music Feeds or its employees.