The Toronto Police Service has confirmed with The Daily Beast that there is an active investigation against Ethan Kath (real name: Claudio Palmieri) of the band Crystal Castles.
Police Constable Allyson Douglas-Cook told the Daily Beast that there is currently an open Sex Crimes unit investigation into the musician. “At this point we are able to confirm that there is an investigation. However, because of the nature of the investigation, and for the privacy of the alleged victims, there isn’t anything else that we can say pertaining to it.”
When asked if she was able to confirm that the Police Service was looking into allegations made by multiple victims, Cook responded, “That I’m not able to confirm. All we can confirm at this point is that there is an active investigation.” However, a source with knowledge of the investigation told The Daily Beast that it involves complaints “from several women.”
The Daily Beast has been in contact with an accuser involved in the investigation, who said that Kath first reached out to her on social media when she was 15, and initiated a sexual relationship when she was 16. She is remaining anonymous for now so as not to impede the investigation, but says, “I want this guy’s insane horrible mistreatment of underage girls to be out in the open for everyone to know and to protect themselves.”
In late October, musician Alice Glass shared her account of alleged abuse suffered at the hands of her former Crystal Castles bandmate, Ethan Kath.
Spurred on by the “momentum” of the moment, Glass wrote a lengthy statement alleging that Kath sexually-assaulted and abused her. She recalled how she met Palmieri, at that time a “local rock star” in Glass’s native Toronto, when she was in 10th grade.
“The first time he took advantage of me was when I was around 15,” Glass wrote. “He was 10 years older than me. I came to in the back of his car extremely intoxicated (from drinks he had given me that night). We didn’t talk for months after that. He went to great lengths to find me again, stalking me and driving past my high school looking for me.”
“Claudio convinced me to drop out of high school only 2 credits away from graduation,” she continued. “As we started to gain attention, he began abusively and systematically targeting my insecurities and controlling my behavior: my eating habits, who I could talk to, where I could go, what I could say in public, what I was allowed to wear. He kept me from doing interviews or photoshoots unless he was in control of the situation. Our fame grew in Crystal Castles but he didn’t feel he was getting the recognition he thought he deserved.”
Glass’s statement goes on to detail alleged physical and emotional abuse; recollections like, “He picked me up over his shoulders and threw me onto concrete. He took pictures of my bruises and posted them online,” and “He berated me and yelled at me, telling me that I was a joke, that all the people that came to our shows were only interested in his instrumentals and that I was ruining the band.” Glass also alleged that, “He forced me to have sex with him or, he said, I wouldn’t be allowed to be in the band anymore.”
After three albums, Glass left Crystal Castles in 2014 and embarked on a solo career. At the time, she cited “reasons both professional and personal,” writing in her October statement that, “Leaving Crystal Castles was the single most difficult decision I’ve ever made.” She continued, “That band was everything to me. My music, my performances and my fans were all I had in the world. I gave that up and started over not because I wanted to but because I had to…It has taken me years to recover from enduring almost a decade of abuse, manipulation and psychological control. I am still recovering.”
In a statement made via his attorney, Palmieri insisted that Glass’s “story is pure fiction.” He subsequently filed a defamation lawsuit against Glass and her boyfriend, musician Jupiter Keyes, alleging that Glass (referred to as Margaret Osborn throughout the lawsuit) had “released false and malicious lies to the online world.”
“As a result”, the suit continued, “Crystal Castles has suffered irreparable damage, very least of which was the cancellation of Plaintiff’s North America tour.” Palmieri further alleged conspiracy: “Defendant Keyes was aware that Osborn planned to wrongly defame and harm the reputation of Plaintiffs Palmieri and Crystal Castles.” On November 18, Glass posted a photo of her summons on Twitter, writing, “Just got served after my show in Chicago by someone pretending to be a fan. lol see you in court asshole.”