09/11/2013 05:29 pm ET

Bloodhound Gang Under Criminal Investigation In Russia Over Flag Stunt


Russian officials said this week that members of the Bloodhound Gang are under criminal investigation for their alleged desecration of the Russian national flag.

The American band found themselves in hot water last month after a video emerged showing bassist Jared Hennegan, better known by the stage name Jared Hasselhoff, stuffing the Russian flag down his pants during a concert in Ukraine. The AP reported at the time that the band, which is famous for sexually explicit songs like 1999 hit "The Bad Touch, was promptly booted out of a Russian music festival, and several Russian officials are said to have immediately slammed the group members for their antics.

In a statement posted on its website Monday, Russia's Investigative Committee said that it has now opened up a criminal case against Hennegan, as well as the band's singer James Moyer Franks, aka Jimmy Pop.

By using the Russian flag on stage in a "derogatory" manner, the musicians "entered a criminal plot to commit actions aimed at humiliating the human dignity of Russian citizens on the grounds of nationality," the statement reads, adding that Hennegan "desecrat[ed] … a national symbol."

Franks and Hennegan, who was recently banned from returning to Ukraine for five years after he urinated on that country's flag on stage, could face up to five years in a penal colony if they are charged and found guilty.