Rock

Ministry Guitarist Sin Quirin Accused of Underage Sexual Relationships by Two Women

Sin Quirin of Ministry
Gina Wetzler/Redferns

Sin Quirin of Ministry performs live on stage during a concert at Huxleys Neue Welt on June 30, 2019 in Berlin.

The alleged encounters took place prior to his time in the industrial metal band.

Kelly Longoria first met Sinhue “Sin” Quirin in November 2002, when she was 15 years old. At the time, Quirin played guitar in Society 1, a small-time industrial metal band that was touring through Longoria’s hometown of San Antonio and is still currently active. Longoria, a high school sophomore who was allowed to attend shows as a reward for her good grades, was there to see Dope, the band that was headlining that night. She hadn’t even arrived in time for Society 1’s set. 

A few years later, Quirin would become the guitarist for Ministry, undeniably one of the biggest and most important acts in the history of industrial music, though a band that was probably past its prime by the time Quirin joined in the mid-2000s. Today, Quirin enjoys a level of professional success (if not exactly mainstream fame) that entails multiple Grammy nominations, a signature model Schecter guitar, collaborations with other major industrial artists such as Lords of Acid and KMFDM, and steady touring with Ministry—including a nationwide run of arenas on the final leg of Slayer’s farewell tour last year. 

That night in San Antonio, he was just the guy in the opening band. But he acted like he was already a rock star. “I see this guy out of the corner of my eye,” Longoria told SPIN (a sister site of Billboard). He had long, bright red braids that hung past his waist, and he seemed to be looking at her. Eventually, at a moment when Longoria was alone, he walked over and introduced himself as the guitarist of Society 1. 

“He asked how old I was,” Longoria later said in a sworn statement about Quirin, which she gave as part of a report made by the San Antonio Police Department in 2017, 15 years after this initial encounter. “I told him ‘15’ and he stated he was 28 years old.” She and the friend she’d attended the show with both had black X’s on their hands, which the venue—a now-defunct club called Sin 13—had given them, in the industry-standard practice for marking underaged concert attendees. “As soon as I said I was 15, he said, ‘Oh, I’m old enough to be your dad,” Longoria told SPIN.

Nothing more happened between them that night, but it was the beginning of a long and twisted courtship from Quirin, Longoria alleges, during which he traveled to San Antonio between 18 and 20 times and visited her while she was still in high school—sometimes while on tour, and others apparently just to see her. As stated in the police report, they had sex many times while she was a minor, beginning when she was still 15, and continued a sexual relationship into her early adulthood. Years later, when she was no longer in any sort of relationship with Quirin, Longoria learned from Matt Zane, the singer of Society 1, that Quirin was even older than he’d led her to believe. Public records show that Quirin was born in 1969, making him 50 years old today and 33 at the time of the San Antonio show in 2002. "I have no recollection of this conversation," Zane told SPIN in a phone interview. 

Longoria is one of two women who told SPIN they had sex with Quirin while they were minors after meeting him at a show. Other sources close to Quirin describe a pattern of seeking out and communicating with young female fans. The history of rock music is filled with stories of older male musicians having romantic and sexual encounters with young women and girls, a dark open secret that was previously ignored or implicitly accepted as part of rock’s larger rejection of social mores. But in the #MeToo era, as more women like Longoria are making their voices heard, and more sophisticated conceptions of consent have entered mainstream consciousness, such behavior has increasingly been met with professional consequences. 

Sometimes those consequences are attached to incidents alleged to have taken place years or even upwards of a decade prior. In November 2017, Pitchfork published a report consisting of two women accusing Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey of making inappropriate sexual advances towards them and soliciting nude photos when they were as young as 15 and 16 years old, dating back to 2002. After the allegations surfaced, opening band Martha and former Brand New touring member Kevin Devine both dropped out of a series of shows in the U.K and Ireland. Shortly thereafter, Brand New canceled their remaining scheduled tour dates and have been largely inactive since. In 2019, Huffington Post published a story consisting of 21 women accusing Dahvie Vanity, the former frontman of electropop group Blood on the Dance Floor of sexually assaulting underage fans dating back to 2007. Two of the women were as young as 13 at the time of the alleged assaults. Online retailer Big Cartel stopped retailing Vanity’s merch and Spotify scrubbed Blood on the Dance Floor’s music from its service following the HuffPost article. 

According to one festival organizer who spoke to SPIN on the condition of anonymity, the phenomenon of musicians preying on minors isn’t as prevalent as it was in the baby groupies heyday of the ‘70s, but “there’s always going to be that element and we have to weed it out.”

“On my festival, or anything I ever produced, we have the right to ask for the ID of anyone backstage written into their contracts,” the organizer said, adding that anyone under 18 can be removed. “That’s not to say artists haven’t gotten in trouble, just not on my tour...We have a tour manager meeting beforehand. We let them know that they’re responsible for their artists. There’s no passing the buck.” 

The stipulation that backstage guests can be carded sounds like it’s more the exception than the rule. According to one entertainment lawyer who reps a number of high profile musicians and asked for anonymity in order to speak candidly, he’s never seen such a clause written into a festival contract in order to deter abuse of minors. “I’ve never really seen a promoter keep an active eye on who is or isn’t in artists’ company,” the attorney said. 

Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman told SPIN that ultimately, artists need to be self-policing when it comes to acting appropriately on the road.

“[Responsibility] falls on the agent, the manager, the band, the label….they’re as guilty as the offender,” Lyman said. “The road managers are complacent. The tech managers are complicit. If they are sending their guitar tech out with [backstage] passes [for underage girls], they are complicit.” 

According to one former artist manager and A&R rep who asked for his name to be withheld so he could speak candidly, reputable tour managers would likely vet their clients before working with them, so as not to have to deal with inappropriate or abusive behavior on the road. 

“I can’t imagine quality manage or a label being in the loop on something that hardcore and not shutting it down,” the former artist manager said. “The real, top tier promoters don’t tolerate that. I think there are a lot of mid-tier schlocky metal businesses around that attract a bottom feeder tier, usually in the metal scene.”

 


 

Through an attorney, Quirin denied having sexual contact with Longoria or any other minor. He acknowledged meeting and exchanging contact information with Longoria in 2002, but stated that he had done so for the purposes of adding her to a Society 1 mailing list, and that any subsequent social encounters happened as a result of Longoria attending concerts. “Mr. Quirin did not begin visiting Ms. Longoria in San Antonio,” Randolph Ortega, Quirin’s attorney, wrote as part of an emailed statement to SPIN. “During this time Society 1 was touring heavily in various locations throughout the United States. When the band was in or near the San Antonio area, Ms. Longoria would come to the show as a guest.”

In her 2017 sworn statement to the San Antonio Police Department, Longoria stated: “The initial sexual assault occurred sometime between December 2002 and April 2003. There were approximately two encounters during that time frame and after that we had a ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ type relationship, even after I was of legal age. I could not tell you how many times we had sex during that time frame.” 

Multiple friends of Longoria’s, as well as her mother, recalled speaking with her about her relationship with Quirin at the time, and witnessing the two of them together. Nicole Perez, one of Longoria’s friends, provided SPIN with a scan of a handwritten journal entry dated January 25, 2004, in which she expressed worries for Longoria’s well-being due to “that nonsense relationship with Sin.” Describing one of Quirin’s visits to San Antonio—where the age of consent is 17—Perez wrote in the entry, “He came down, then ‘came,’ then left.” Longoria was 16 at the time. No criminal charges have ever been filed against Quirin based on Longoria’s allegations.

 


 

“Brooke,” an entertainment industry worker who requested anonymity because she fears professional blowback, also claims to SPIN that she had sex with Quirin while she was a minor. She met him at a Society 1 performance in Portland, Oregon, in March 2005, a month after she turned 16. She says that Quirin approached her and the group she’d attended the concert with after it was over, and told them that the band didn’t have a place to sleep that night. Brooke invited them to stay at her house because her mother was out of town, and they accepted. 

According to Brooke, she and her companions “definitely made it clear” to Quirin and the rest of the band that they were minors. She claims that she had sex with Quirin that night in Portland, and a second time the following night, after traveling to Tacoma, Washington, to see Society 1 perform again. Her story is corroborated by her sister, who was with her on both of the nights she described. The age of consent in Oregon is 18, and the age of consent is Washington is 16. 

Quirin denies these claims. “Mr. Quirin maintains no recollection of meeting a minor outside a show in Portland,” his attorney Ortega wrote. “Mr. Quirin denies ever have (sic) any sexual relationship with anyone under the age of majority.”

Brooke says she understood the alleged sex with Quirin to be consensual at the time, but that it was also uncomfortable, leaving her with scratches on her back and pain in her genitals. She was a sexually inexperienced teenager, and Quirin didn’t bother to “get anything warmed up,” as she put it. “I thought that was normal, like it was normal playful sex,” she says. “Now as an adult, I see the inappropriateness.” 

Brooke explains that she was excited about a musician giving her attention, but that she had reservations that she wasn’t comfortable voicing because of his status and her age. “The thing about being young is that you have a harder time saying no,” she says. “I’m like, ‘Wow, I really don’t want to let this person down, but I also don’t want this person to hurt me.’”

Lacey Sculls, a singer and former contestant on VH1’s Rock of Love, met Quirin as an adult in 2010, while both were performing as touring members of Lords of Acid. The two began a dating relationship, which she says lasted between eight and 10 months, and ended after she became aware that Quirin’s prior relationship with Longoria had allegedly involved sex with a minor. 

Sculls provided SPIN with an email exchange between her and Quirin, dated April 18, 2011, which she claims took place after Quirin allegedly admitted to her in person that he’d been romantically involved with Longoria when she was minor. Previous emails between Sculls and Quirin make reference to plans to meet in person and discuss Quirin’s previous relationship. SPIN confirmed the authenticity of these emails, which were sent to and from an AOL address that is consistent with Quirin’s other online handles, by accessing Sculls’s account from an independent computer and viewing them there.

The April 17 email to Sculls acknowledges a relationship with a minor, but argues that it was not part of a larger pattern. “I never targeted anyone because of their age. Ever. This wasn’t some groupie thing. I ended up with this person for years,” the email reads in part. “You are now treating me or looking at me like someone who targets children. Sorry, but that’s not me and that doesn’t feel good. I can’t take anything back and I can’t erase things. But did I seek anyone out that was a certain age? No. Do I continue to seek people out who are that age? No. That was the only relationship where it was like that. And I’m sure you probably don’t believe me now anyway. But that’s the truth.” 

In August 2011, a few months after the dissolution of her relationship with Quirin, Sculls sent a Facebook message to Society 1 singer Zane to express her concerns about Quirin’s behavior.

“Honestly, I knew about his fascination with young girls and I did catch him crossing the line a few times,” Zane responded. “Although the major situation where he was sleeping with a 15-year-old was wrong he said he was going to marry her when she turned legal.” Zane continued: “As I said, it wasn’t until later that dozens of girls came forward to me on the web (Myspace at the time) and told me what he was really doing to people on the road.” SPIN confirmed the authenticity of the message by viewing it from Sculls’s Facebook account. 

In a phone interview with SPIN, Zane said he doesn’t recall writing the Facebook message to Sculls, and accused her of harboring a “personal vendetta” against him. “I've never witnessed anything myself," he said. "If I saw this stuff while he was in [Society 1], I would be like, ‘Holy shit, what’s going on?' I didn’t see nothing. I didn’t do anything."

 


 

Quirin, a Los Angeles native, began playing along the Sunset Strip in local bands in the mid-’80s and joined Society 1 in 2001. Four years later, he became the touring guitarist for Revolting Cocks (since rebranded as RevCo), a kind of industrial supergroup with a rotating cast of members that often includes Al Jourgensen, the frontman and longtime leader of Ministry. After a tour with RevCo, Jourgensen invited Quirin to join his main band. The two began splitting songwriting duties on Ministry’s eleventh studio album, 2007’s The Last Sucker, and Quirin has co-writing credits on each of the three Ministry albums released since then, including 2018’s AmeriKKKant. Quirin’s work with the band has earned him two Grammy nominations for Best Metal Performance.

In Ministry’s late ‘80s and early ‘90s heyday, they released a platinum album, sent multiple videos into regular MTV airplay, and inspired artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie with their combination of harsh distorted guitars and danceable drum machine beats. They’re considerably less relevant to the mainstream today, but they’re not unpopular: In addition to the arena tour supporting Slayer, they regularly headline venues with capacities in the thousands, and draw half a million monthly listeners on Spotify.

“Mr. Jourgenson (sic) is unaware of any of potential nefarious activity by any member of Ministry during their respective tenure(s) with the band including but not limited to Mr. Sin Quirin,” Ministry’s lawyer Randy Ortega said in an emailed statement after SPIN reached out for comment. 

Both women who allege that they had sex with Quirin as minors had their initial encounters with him before he was a member of Ministry. But according to one source, he exchanged online messages with teenage girls, sometimes alluding to intimate encounters, even after he joined the band.

Beth George, a former artist manager claims that she began helping Quirin on a consultant basis in 2012. George provided SPIN with forwarded email correspondence between her and Quirin in which she advises him about a press release, a potential collaborator, and a song in progress, dated between September and November of 2012. According to George, her administrative assistance to Quirin involved establishing a Twitter account in Quirin’s name for the purposes of promoting his music and image, and ended after she confronted him about a series of disturbing messages she said she found in that account’s direct messages inbox. 

Quirin’s attorney Randolph Ortega wrote to SPIN denying that George was ever Quirin’s manager “and therefore any and all allegations [by her] are false.”

In the course of her normal routine of seeding the Twitter account with news updates and photo posts, George claims, she found that Quirin was receiving a number of follows and messages from girls who looked young in their profile photos. At first, she figured they were simply fans. She began to suspect something more sinister after reading a message from a girl whose profile identified her as 15 years old. 

“The message was very personal,” George alleges. “It was about them seeing each other in Mexico,” where the girl lived. George gleaned from the message that Quirin had stopped talking to this girl after they had apparently spent time together: “I remember she said something like, ‘You promised me the world’ in her message to Sin.” According to George, after she told the girl that Quirin didn’t directly control the account, the girl opened up further. She said that she’d “been intimate” with Quirin, according to George, and that he’d broken her heart. 

These social media message exchanges are seemingly consistent with Quirin’s contact with Brooke after her alleged encounter with him as a 16-year-old in 2005. “We were in touch off and on through Myspace for many years,” Brooke says. “Very flirtatious messages.”

George estimates that she ultimately read 15 to 20 messages from girls alluding to intimate encounters they had with Quirin while they were minors. She claims one of the girls referenced a meeting with Quirin as “my first experience.”

Eventually, George. says, she confronted Quirin. “I text him and say, ‘What the fuck is going on? How do you know so many young girls?’” George alleges. “He would say, ‘Well, that's your interpretation; they're fans.”

 


 

Although Kelly Longoria’s involvement with Quirin ended approximately a decade ago, she’s still feeling the impacts of the relationship today. She’s currently divorced, raising a 5-year-old daughter as a single mother, and dealing with clinical depression that was first diagnosed while she was involved with Quirin. She attempted suicide multiple times during and after her relationship with him, and says she still has vivid dreams about him. “This man set the precedent for my future relationships,” she explains. “It’s taken me a lot of time to trust somebody, to believe what they’re saying.” 

At the show where Longoria first met Quirin, both she and the friend she attended with were chaperoned by their mothers. Milly Longoria remembers leaving the venue and taking a short drive to give her daughter some space, then returning to and finding Kelly and Quirin in conversation. 

“I walked in and I noticed that he was very close to her,” Milly recalls. “They were already talking. I approached him right away. I said, ‘Hello,’ and I got in between. I told him who I was, and I said, ‘Who are you?’ Then he introduced himself, and I said, ‘Okay.’ I said, ‘I'm her mom,’ just to let him know that she wasn't there by herself.” 

Unbeknownst to Milly, her daughter and Quirin had already exchanged contact information. Nothing more happened between them that night, but they began having regular phone conversations afterward. When Milly confronted her daughter about the repeated calls to a number she didn’t recognize, Kelly and Quirin moved to instant messenger. In these early exchanges, Kelly remembers the musician trying to impress her with his minor showbiz connections: that he’d once dated a porn star, that he supposedly gave guitar lessons to a legendary comic actor’s daughter, and that he was soon going to appear on The Howard Stern Show. (He never did.)

Eventually, the conversations became visits from Quirin to San Antonio, Longoria says. Sometimes, he would meet up with her when he was in town on tour with Society 1; sometimes, he would come alone and get a motel room for two or three days. Longoria would tell her mom that she was spending the night at a friend’s house, then go crash at Quirin’s motel. 

Once, Longoria and Quirin stayed at the house of Nicole Perez, the friend who journaled about Longoria’s relationship with Quirin, when Perez’s mother was out of town. Longoria alleges that it was during the first of these visits, when she was still 15, that she and Quirin first had sex. “He didn’t force himself on me, but it was wrong, and it was really weird and awkward for me,” she claims. “And even in that moment, I had to convince myself it was okay.” 

Longoria describes herself as having low self-esteem as a teenager. She says she was taken in by Quirin’s attention and validation, and the way he called her beautiful—though she had to work to convince herself that “this guy didn’t just like me because I was 15.” She remembers Quirin telling her “I was like this light in the room that he was just drawn to. And he would remind me of that for years.” 

During one trip to San Antonio, Longoria told police Quirin even visited her at Health Careers High School, where she was a student. According to Longoria, he signed in as a guest, claiming to be her cousin. Longoria’s friend “Aimee,” who attended the initial Society 1 show with her, remembers seeing the musician around the school that day, and Longoria’s 2017 sworn statement to the police alleges that Quirin visited her at high school when she was a sophomore. (Aimee requested anonymity because she fears retaliation.) Quirin’s long braids and leather jacket made him a hard figure to miss around the halls of the school. “He obviously couldn't go over to her house—her parents were there,” Aimee says. “It was like any moment that they could get together, she would take it, because she couldn't be away from school.”

“Mr. Quirin has never signed himself into a school disguising to be someone’s family member,” Quirin’s attorney Ortega wrote. “This allegation does not pass the ‘laugh test.’ It is a hilariously false allegation.”

For Longoria’s friends Aimee and Perez, there was something alluring about having an older professional musician hanging around, though both recall being disconcerted about Quirin’s relationship with Longoria and his apparent fixation on sex. Aimee claims Quirin bragged about the size of his penis to her and that he showed off the Magnum condoms he carried with him. Perez alleges that Quirin once snuck her and Longoria into an adult film store to buy a DVD that had been directed by Society 1 singer Matt Zane, who also worked in the porn industry. Quirin, through Ortega, denies these claims as well.

According to Perez, her relationship with Quirin soured after she drove to pick Longoria up from the motel where the musician was staying one day and found a Do Not Disturb sign on the door. “I could hear them inside,” Perez says. “I could hear Kelly moaning. There was sex going on. For me, why it is such a clear memory is because it was that moment of clarity. Like oh my god, this is fucked up. I’m sitting outside a motel room.”

She brought up her concerns with both Quirin and Longoria after that. Perez recalls that Quirin was “almost crying” when she confronted him because “he was so hurt by the implication that he could have any impure or bad motives, or anything like that, with Kelly.” Even as a teenager, she says, she understood that his willingness to put her on the defensive about his own sexual relationship with a minor was a “red flag.”

Milly Longoria, Kelly’s mother, did not understand at the time that Quirin was having sex with her daughter while she was a minor, but that she saw clearly that their relationship was inappropriate nonetheless. She confronted him about it several times over the phone and at least once in person. “He kept telling me that it was Kelly initiating the calls to him,” she claims. “He never took responsibility, and he would make an excuse to turn everything around. I told him, ‘I know what you’re doing. You’re manipulating my daughter and I don’t appreciate it.’” Ortega said that Quirin does not recall any direct contact with Milly Longoria. 

Longoria says she stuck with the relationship in part because of Quirin’s promises that they’d get married and have children, which he began making about a year into their relationship, when she was 16 or 17. He even had names picked out, according to Perez: “Something like Aiden and Jayden, because they rhyme with his last name.”

When Longoria turned 18, graduated from high school, and began attending Texas State University in San Marcos, she figured things would become easier between her and Quirin because she was legally an adult and had her own apartment. While she was in college, the musician joined both Ministry and Revolting Cocks. Longoria would hang out with the bands when they came through Texas. She enjoyed spending time with artists she admired. But her relationship with Quirin, she says, was becoming “fucking horribly dark.”

In those years, Quirin allegedly became even more controlling, berating her in phone calls if he suspected she’d been drinking, doing drugs, or flirting with guys her own age. She began to suffer from clinical depression and suicidal thoughts, and would sometimes attempt to overdose on over-the-counter and prescription medications after a fight with him. Aimee says one of her primary memories of Longoria from this period is of her friend “crying all the time.” 

Longoria estimates that the relationship finally dissolved when she was around 21 or 22, after Quirin failed to follow through on a repeated promise to move to San Marcos to be with her. “I would question, ‘Okay, so when is this gonna happen?’ to get an idea of where things were going,” Longoria explains. “He would use any kind of excuse for that stuff not to happen. So there were always these broken promises that would cause fights. I don’t really remember the last tipping point of what made us not talk anymore, but it stopped. I started to wonder if we broke up because I was getting older, and he was losing interest. I don’t know.”

 


 

Kelly Longoria went to the San Antonio Police Department about Quirin in January 2017. She’d attempted to get the police involved once before, a few years after her relationship with Quirin ended. This time, she was determined to get results. “Now that I’m a mom and I have a daughter, it definitely means a lot more to me to get somebody like this to stop,” she says. “I want to try and stop this from happening to other people. I don't want them to experience what I experienced.”

She’d been in touch with Lacey Sculls, Quirin’s ex-girlfriend, after the two connected on Facebook over their shared history with Quirin. Although Longoria came to the decision to report Quirin on her own, Sculls offered her support, and also agreed to be interviewed by an SAPD officer about her relationship with Quirin. In an audio recording of the police interview, Sculls declares her willingness to swear under oath that Quirin admitted to her that he had a relationship with Longoria while she was a minor. “I was like ‘That’s disgusting. You know that’s illegal, right? Do you know why that’s illegal? Do you understand why that’s wrong?’,” Sculls says in part on the recording. “And he was just saying ‘Yes, Yes, I know.’” 

The report that the SAPD filed on January 6, 2017, contains the Sculls interview recording, Longoria’s aforementioned sworn statement, notes from an SAPD officer acknowledging Longoria’s claims that Quirin had assaulted her when she was 15, multiple photos of a 15-year-old Longoria hanging out with Quirin and other members of Society 1 on the night she first met him, and photos of a 2004 Society 1 DVD release called Fearing the Exit, which includes a dedication to a “Kell” from Quirin in the thanks section of its liner notes. “Kell (we’re almost there...),” the dedication reads, which Longoria claims is a reference to the fact that she was nearing the age of 18 at the time. The note is not a reference to Longoria, according to Quirin’s attorney. 

The 2017 case hasn’t gone anywhere. According to Longoria, an officer at the SAPD told her that the local district attorney had rejected her case because her relationship with Quirin had continued past her 18th birthday. A representative of the SAPD’s public information office declined to comment on this story, citing a policy against commenting on cases that don’t result in an arrest or charges. The fact that Quirin has not been held to account for his alleged actions contributes to the unresolved trauma around her experience with him, Longoria says. But she still has hope that justice will be served. 

“Quirin is still a touring musician,” she told the police in her 2017 statement. “And I do not want him to do anything like this to another unsuspecting female.”

Prior to Jan. 16, Spin was a sister site of Billboard.