An 18-year-old Boston man has been charged with raping a 17-year-old fan at the Boston area stop of Keith Urban’s Raise ‘Em Up Tour. The incident follows reports of 50 arrests at the concert, held at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts. In addition, 46 concertgoers received medical treatment, some at local hospitals, for alcohol-related illnesses.
As reported by Massachusetts paper The Sun Chronicle, the alleged sexual assault occurred in a far area of the venue’s lawn seating area. Instead of intervening, audience members apparently filmed the incident on their cellphones until an off-duty police officer ended the situation. The suspect was arrested shortly after. On Monday, he plead not guilty, with his lawyer contending the sex was consensual.
Country concerts have experienced a run of bad publicity lately. During a Jason Aldean concert earlier this month in Cleveland, a 22-year-old fan vanished and was later found dead in a landfill. At a Brad Paisley performance in San Diego, a woman who brought her four-month-old child to the show was asked to leave the pit area in front of the stage out of safety concerns for the child. (She alleged it was because she was breastfeeding in public.) And in Pittsburgh, a June stadium date by Luke Bryan at Heinz Field resulted in more than 150 emergency calls and surrounding parking lots decimated by the trash of concert tailgaters.
Urban’s Raise ‘Em Up Tour continues Thursday in Cincinnati.