Katja Ogrin/Redferns

Update (12.18, 11:11 a.m.): Pierce the Veil’s P.R. team responded to our inquiry with “The statement that was issued will be the only statement.” Read it in full below.

Original Story (12.18, 9:11 a.m.): Last month, we reported an accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor against Pierce the Veil drummer Mike Fuentes, after Twitter user @punkdoll posted a series of iPhone screenshots detailing sexual misconduct between a friend of hers and Fuentes. In the note—shared by @punkdoll and penned by a friend who chose to remain anonymous—the friend describes interactions with the musician dating back 10 years ago. They met in person following her 16th birthday and their interactions became sexual in nature at Warped Tour in Pomona, CA in 2008, when she was still 16. He was 24 at the time.

An hour after the initial post on Tuesday, November 14, @punkdoll posted a few blurred out, graphic images of what looks like Fuentes’ crotch (the tattoos appear to be his) as, in her words, “receipts for all the skeptics.” We reached out to Fuentes for comment but did not hear back.

On Saturday, December 16, a month after the initial Tweets, Pierce the Veil has shared a statement, below, via Facebook. In it, Fuentes reveals he will “take a break” from the band, which has decided to withdraw from their U.K. tour with popular pop-punk band All Time Low.

From the day we started this band, the four of us agreed that we not only wanted to write and play songs together for the rest of our lives, but we also wanted to build a strong community through our music and provide a safe place for ourselves and our fans to express our shared values through creativity, open-mindedness, love and respect. Over the last ten years we have accomplished that and so much more with the help of our incredible fans. The bond that we share in this community is stronger than we could have ever imagined and is truly our pride and joy.

Recently, an allegation was made about Mike from an anonymous source pertaining to events dating back nearly ten years ago. We are taking this allegation seriously and would like to share the steps we are taking in response. Below are a few words from Mike.

“I’m of course aware of the allegation made about me from almost ten years ago, and I cannot begin to describe how difficult and disturbing this entire situation has been for everyone involved. I do not take this allegation lightly and would never downplay it. I have empathy for any human being who has experienced abuse or mistreatment in their lives, and I am inspired to see so many come forward and speak out about it. No one should have to suffer in silence, and I am thankful that the world is finally starting to listen. I also want to assure you that I have never intentionally manipulated or abused anyone in my life. That is not the person I am, how I was raised, or the type of behavior that I condone. I strongly believe in the empowerment of abuse victims, so if I have ever made anyone feel like they are less than equal, I am sincerely sorry.

I love playing music more than anything on earth, and I am constantly humbled by the support of our fans. I do not want the allegation surrounding me to negatively affect the reputation or future of the band, or to break the bond and trust that we have created with our fans over the years. So, I have decided to take a break and step away from my position in the band in hopes that this will allow my band mates and fans to continue focusing on the music and message that Pierce The Veil stands for. Though I am far from perfect, I do have a moral compass and try to stand up for what is right. While away from the band, I will continue to work hard to live my life in that way.”

Since the allegation first surfaced, our band has discussed how we can ensure the PTV community is always a safe environment. We’ve made many efforts over the years to protect our fans, and we can and will do more. We believe in creating spaces where people can seek help for any issues they are struggling with and provide resources and tools to help.

As a band, we are respecting Mike’s decision to take break and step away. Unfortunately, without a core member of the band, we will be respectfully withdrawing from the upcoming U.K. tour with All Time Low. We promise our fans that we will be back again very soon.

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We’ve reached out to @punkdoll for comment and will update this if we hear back.

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