According to Classic Rock Magazine, US pop-punk band NEW FOUND GLORY have confirmed they fired guitarist Steve Klein last year after he warned them he was facing charges of lewd conduct with a minor and possessing child pornography.
But there appears to be more to the case than meets the eye after San Luis Superior Court allowed him to walk free following his initial appearance, and his lawyer took the equally unusual step of making a statement about the accusations against him.
Klein pleaded not guilty to two counts of lewd conduct with a minor under the age of 14, three counts of lewd conduct with a minor 14 or 15, one count of intent to commit lewd acts with a minor, and one count of possession of child pornography.
Attorney Debra White tells Idobi: “Steve Klein is not accused of having any lewd actual physical contact with any minor. All charges against Steve are derived solely from online consensual video chats between Steve and some female strangers he met on an adult website. Steve believed the females were over the age of eighteen.
“The females alleged to be ‘minors’ are not known females. This means that no one – not the prosecution, not the police and not the defence – actually know who the females are and no one knows their true age.
“The possession of child pornography charge is based solely on Steve allegedly ‘possessing’ the videos of chats with the female strangers from the adult website.
“From my many years of experience in this specialty area I wholeheartedly believe that Steve Klein is innocent of all of these charges. Steve is devastated by these accusations. He has lost his band, his livelihood, and his ex-wife continues to push for full custody of his children using this case as her pawn while he literally fights for his life.
“Despite this heavy hand, Steve remains strong and hopeful that he will be vindicated.”
New Found Glory, who have released seven albums since forming in 1997, dismissed Klein last year citing “personal differences”. Now they explain in a statement: “Upon our return from Warped Tour Australia, Steve made us aware of possible allegations that might be made against him. At that point, not knowing all the details, we made the decision to part ways in order for him to deal with these personal issues.
“Thank you so much to everyone around the globe for always sticking by us. The future is bright.”