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Russian Authorities Open Criminal Case Against Bloodhound Gang

Jared Hasselhoff of the Bloodhound Gang - P 2013
Getty Images
Jared Hasselhoff, lead singer of Bloodhound Gang

The U.S. band is accused of making anti-Russian statements and desecrating the country's flag.

MOSCOW – A criminal case against members of U.S. band Bloodhound Gang has been opened in Russia. The band members are accused of “inciting hatred and enmity” against Russia during the their shows in Ukraine last July.

A statement published on the website of Russia’s Investigative Committee specifically mentions the band’s singer and guitarist, James Moyer Franks, known under his stage name Jimmy Pop, and bassist Jared Hennegan.

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“Moyer, Hennegan and other unknown persons entered a criminal plot aimed at disgracing Russian citizens and formed a criminal group to that end,” reads the statement.

The incident, which triggered a criminal investigation, occurred during a show at Kiev’s Green Theater on July 30, during which Hennegan put a Russian flag into his pants, wiping his genitals with it, and later threw it into the audience. Both he and Franks also shouted anti-Russian statements onstage at that show and at one held the next day in the Ukrainian Black Sea resort city of Odessa.

In early August, the band was scheduled to play a set at the major Russian rock festival Kubana. The musicians arrived in the resort town of Anapa, where the festival was held, and attended a news conference, but their set was canceled by the festival’s management. Some reports said that the order came directly from Russian authorities.

Later, the band members were banned from entering Russia for five years.

At the Kiev show, Hennegan also appeared to urinate on a Ukrainian national flag and was subsequently banned from entering Ukraine for five years.

The Russian Investigative Committee’s statement said that putting Hennegan and Franks on a wanted list is “under consideration.”