"Preliminary proceedings have been initiated against Till Lindemann," said a spokeswoman for the Berlin public prosecution's office.
Berlin prosecutors have opened an investigation against Till Lindemann, the frontman of German metal band Rammstein, following multiple claims of sexual assault.
"Preliminary proceedings have been initiated against Till Lindemann on allegations relating to sexual offences and the distribution of narcotics," a spokeswoman for the Berlin public prosecution's office said in a statement.
Several women have come forward in recent weeks to claim they were drugged and recruited to engage in sexual activity with Lindemann, 60, at Rammstein after-show parties.
Lindemann has denied the allegations, with his lawyers calling the accusations "without exception untrue". His lawyers stated last week that they would “immediately pursue legal action in response to all such accusations.”
The Berlin prosecutors have opened the probe on their own initiative, "on the basis of several criminal complaints filed by third parties." No further information will be provided at this time in order not to jeopardise the ongoing investigation, the spokeswoman said.
The scandal erupted after a 24-year-old fan from Northern Ireland named Shelby Lynn posted on social media that she had been drugged and propositioned by Lindemann at a backstage party in Vilnius.
Following her accusations, she tweeted: “I’d like to clarify again. Till did NOT touch me. He accepted I did not want to have sex with him. I never claimed he raped me.”
However, a wave of similar stories emerged through platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The uproar around the allegations led German Families Minister Lisa Paus to call for better protection for fans at concerts and to the cancellation of all after-show parties at a series of Rammstein concerts in Munich last week. Berlin has also said that after-show parties will be cancelled at the band's upcoming concerts in the German capital in July.
Last week, Rammstein posted a statement to their Instagram saying that they want their fans to feel safe and comfortable at their concerts. The band also urged fans not to attack Lynn or other accusers. “They are entitled to their way they see things,” they wrote. “But we, the band, also have a right - namely not to be prejudiced.”
At the time of writing, Rammstein’s European tour carries on regardless, with the next dates being in Switzerland (17-18 June) and several July dates, including Netherlands (6), Germany (15-16), France (22), Austria (26-27) and Poland (30-31).