New Found Glory guitarist Steve Klein has been accused of multiple felonies, including possession of child pornography.
Klein was booted from New Found Glory on Dec. 11 for undisclosed "personal differences," Billboard noted. On Dec. 12, he was arraigned in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on two counts of lewd conduct with a minor under the age of 14, three counts of lewd conduct with a minor aged 14 or 15, one count of intent to commit a lewd act with a minor and one count of possession of child pornography.
The charges came to light when music-centric sites like Idobi and Alternative Press Magazine published court documents relating to the arraignment and the seven charges against Klein.
Klein's attorney, Debra White, sent a statement to these sites clarifying that her client is not accused of any lewd physical contact with a minor. The charges apparently relate to "online consensual video chats between Steve and some female strangers he met on an adult website," whom he thought were of legal age. The child pornography charge stems from Klein's alleged possession of the videos of these chats.
On Wednesday, New Found Glory posted a statement to Facebook about dropping Klein from the band and the charges against him:
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. Us 4 members of New Found Glory have given our entire lives to this band and will continue to do so ... Thank you so much to everyone around the globe for always sticking by us. The future is bright.
Klein pleaded not guilty and is due back in court March 20, according to Billboard.
New Found Glory, formed in Coral Springs, Fla., in 1997, became famous in the pop punk genre of the 2000s with hits like "My Friends Over You," "Head On Collision" and "All Downhill from Here." They played in the U.K. this past fall and are set to perform at Groezrock in Belgium on May 3.
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