Music

Alpine Guitarist Charged With Sexual Assault Of Teenager In Melbourne

It's alleged he fled to Brisbane earlier this year to "avoid apprehension".

alpine photo

The guitarist of Melbourne outfit Alpine has been charged with the sexual assault of a teenager in the city’s CBD.

— Content Warning: The article contains discussion of sexual assault. — 

As reported by the Brisbane Times, Christian O’Brien was charged earlier this year for the assault that allegedly occurred on Melbourne’s Little Bourke Street in August last year. O’Brien allegedly ‘fled’ to Brisbane to “avoid apprehension” after he was linked to the assault following a public appeal for information earlier in the year.

Court documents released during a Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday, as sighted by the Brisbane Times, claim that O’Brien “intentionally sexually touched the complainant, a child under the age of 16, in circumstances where the touching was contrary to community standards of acceptable conduct”.

A warrant was issued for O’Brien’s arrest in early January after the police received information from the public after a media release — including an image of the man they wanted to speak to — was distributed.

“The accused has been identified as the offending male as a result of a media release being circulated,” the court document reads. “Upon the media release being circulated, the accused has subsequently fled Melbourne to Brisbane in a bid to avoid apprehension. The accused is failing to engage with investigators and investigators believe he is likely to flee the country.”

O’Brien’s next court appearance will be in February next year.

— UPDATE: Friday 1.30pm — 

Music Junkee has received the following statement from the other members of Alpine regarding Christian O’Brien:

We are deeply concerned and saddened by these allegations. Any matter of sexual assault is an extremely serious one, however, as the matter is still before the courts we are advised that we are unable to provide further comment at this time.

Our thoughts are with those involved and hope all parties have the privacy and support required to deal with this devastating matter. The band disbanded in 2019 and will not be releasing music or playing shows in the future. It is very disappointing to announce this news in this way to our fans.

A reminder that help is available on 1800 RESPECT, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you need any support on such affecting issues.

— Phoebe, Tim, Phil, Ryan and Lou