Austin Carlile, the former singer of the metalcore band Of Mice & Men, has been accused of sexual assault by a woman who claims that Alternative Press shelved a story that would have exposed multiple alleged transgressions.
Last week, Alternative Press ran a story about Carlile’s recent social media posts, in which the singer talked about the COVID-19 pandemic and the current racial unrest. He said that “none of these current events are surprising” and that Jesus will be “coming back soon.”
Upon seeing the article (which has since been taken down), a woman by the name of Caitlyn Stiffler posted a lengthy open letter to Alternative Press, asserting that the publication buried an investigative story that would have reported multiple acts of alleged sexual assault by Carlile. The letter reads as follows:
“Dear Alternative Press,
Remember when over 15 girls shared their stories with you about this serial rapist? Because I do. I was one of them. Now you want to not only share HIS nonsense, but you want to put his name next to Jesus? No, just, no. It’s not okay.
The alternative community has followed you for YEARS. I followed your stories so closely all through high school and watched my artist friends be featured by your magazine. To be contacted by you to share my story, in hopes that it wouldn’t keep happening to other girls, felt like a dream. Finally there was something I could do, considering I was told by law enforcement that there was nothing else I could hope for with no physical evidence. I never thought anyone would believe me or take this seriously, then there was your magazine asking us to share.
He not only raped girls, probably more than anyone even knows about, he was a predator seeking out underage girls by using his position in the music industry to do so. He threatened you with a lawsuit and you backed down. I get it, who would want to be involved in that when you could just… not. That was your choice, a choice none of us had. We can’t just let it go and forget. I for one had hoped that you would at the very least stop featuring him. Guess I was wrong to hope that.
He needs [to be] CANCELLED. Get him out of these kids’ faces who believe he’s a good person deserving of recognition.”
Caitlyn’s husband, Jonathan, corroborated her claims, 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.”
A photographer named Megan Thompson shared Caitlyn’s post, and added, “[Alternative Press] took statements from MULTIPLE friends like the one below and killed the story. I worked with this band when he was in it, and ‘finding Jesus’ doesn’t make up for how he treated everyone. Stop giving him a platform if you’re not going to believe these women.”
Last night, Alternative Press released its own statement: “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.”
And today (June 9th), the current Of Mice & Men lineup issued a statement, reading:
“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 harrassment in any form.
–Aaron, Alan, Tino, Phil”
In an addendum to her Facebook post, Caitlyn Stiffler added, “I should have specified before that the claims in this post date back to 2007 for myself, and earlier for some of the other girls. Worried we’re not going to share the details with you? Don’t be, we absolutely intend to. Someone should be innocent until proven guilty, and I’m here to let you know that it will be proven. Why? Because he is guilty. He is a predator.”
Carlile formed Of Mice & Men in 2009 after fronting the band Attack Attack! He parted ways with Of Mice & Men in late 2016 to focus on his chronic health issues as a result of the genetic disorder Marfan syndrome. Aaron Pauley, who was handling bass and clean vocals in Of Mice & Men at the time, stepped up to become the band’s new frontman.
Update, June 17th: Austin Carlile has issued a statement denying the accusations, calling them “extremely heinous and completely without merit.” Read his full statement here.
The aforementioned statements and social media posts can be seen below.
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 @austincarlile over the years to be interviewed by @AltPress. I knew him personally, I worked in the scene & I married one of his victims.
— Father Jonathan Stiffler (@jdstiffler) June 8, 2020
No. Just no. You took statements from MULTIPLE friends like the one below and killed the story. I worked with this band when he was in it, and “finding Jesus” doesn’t make up for how he treated everyone. Stop giving him a platform if you’re not going to believe these women. pic.twitter.com/mX8hwFpjdm
— Megan Thompson (@MeganThompson) June 8, 2020
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.
— altpress (@AltPress) June 9, 2020
— Of Mice & Men (@OMandM) June 9, 2020