At the beginning of June, reports surfaced out of Europe that Freddie Gibbs had been wanted on rape charges in Austria. He was arrested in France while on tour in the continent and later extradited to Austria, given the countries’ close connection in the European Union.
The charges had stemmed from an altercation while Gibbs was on tour in the country in 2015.
According to Reuters, Gibbs was officially charged with sexual assault this week.
“He is alleged to have administered knock-out drops to a woman and then have abused her sexually while she was in a defenseless state,” a spokesman for the court in Austria said.
The charge of “sexual abuse of a defenseless or psychologically impaired person” caries a maximum 10-year sentence in the country if found guilty, according to the wire service.
Gibbs’ lawyers released a statement:
“He strenuously denies (the accusations). … While Freddie Gibbs was charged with an offense today, it remains only an allegation, and it does not in any way change the actual facts that Freddie Gibbs is 100 percent innocent.”
There is no set court date and Gibbs’ release isn’t imminent.
UPDATE (8/18): Less than 24 hours after being formally charged, Freddie Gibbs has been released on bail to the tune of 50,000 euros ($56,560).
A new statement from his lawyer is available below.
“Freddie Gibbs was released today on bail. We believe this is the first step toward his eventual exoneration and vindication. We are pleased and thankful that the Court recognized the same trust and confidence we have in Freddie that justified his release. Immediately after his release I spoke with Freddie who expressed his heartfelt appreciation and thanks for the overwhelming outpouring of support he has received.
Yesterday’s charge remains only an allegation, and it does not in any way change the actual facts that Freddie Gibbs is 100% innocent.
As he has done with his bail request, he continues to pursue every available means to demonstrate that he is absolutely innocent and that he has been both belatedly and wrongly accused. As the investigation and process continues, Mr. Gibbs remains hopeful that a thorough, searching and complete investigation will reveal the actual facts, including the absence of any scientific, physical, or credible evidence implicating him, thereby paving the way for his exoneration and return to his family and one-year old child.
In accordance with Austrian procedure Mr. Gibbs has not as yet had the opportunity to provide the authorities and the Court with the substantial and compelling exonerating evidence that he has compiled.
Through counsel Mr. Freddie Gibbs has consistently remained fully cooperative with law enforcement offices and judicial systems in both France and Austria and will continue to do so.”