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Pete Townshend Should Not

Be Given Kennedy Center Award

December 30, 2008: CBS will tonight air the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors acknowledging such notables as Morgan Freeman, George Jones, Barbra Streisand, Twyla Tharp, Pete Townshend & Roger Daltrey.

Child AbuseWatch.net (CAN), a U.S. child sexual abuse prevention organization, has objected and demanded that Townshend’s award be withdrawn in light of his 2003 – 2008 listing on the UK Violent and Sexual Offender Registry (ViSOR) for accessing, paying for and viewing child pornography.

In an article featured in the ButlerReport.com in August 2008 entitled “Pete Townshend of the WHO and his child porn connection,” it was brought to America’s attention that Townshend had recently been eligible for removal from the UK Sexual Offender database after a five year mandatory registration for being caught – and admitting to – accessing Internet child pornography. Full article

Townshend was registered as a Sex Offender in 2003, following a police investigation, for viewing online child pornography. Cleared of possession of child pornography he was ordered placed on the British Violent and Sexual Offender Register (Visor) for five years. He was admonished by child advocacy groups in 2006 for writing a graphic teen sex story on his blog which he retracted admitting it was "ill advised" to write.*

Child AbuseWatch.net’s director Evin Daly called the Kennedy Center award “completely inappropriate given the circumstances surrounding Townshend’s admission to accessing, paying for and viewing child pornography.” At the time of his arrest, Townshend offered that he was doing “research,” which according to the FBI law enforcement publication “Child Molesters: A behavioral analysis”(P.93) is a frequently used excuse used by individuals when caught.

CAN has sent a letter of protest to the Kennedy Center admonishing them over their insensitivity to child sexual abuse issues. In addition to having Townshend’s award rescinded CAN has asked the Kennedy Center to issue an apology for their insensitivity to child sexual offense issues.

“There are few people in the world who would be given an award of any kind with a background like Townshend’s. I believe this is a case of ‘celebrity oversight’ as regular people would find it impossible to secure employment being registered on VISOR let alone allowed a visa to enter the U.S.,” Daly said recently.

CAN has an ongoing campaign contacting U.S. governmental departments, the White House and federal law enforcement to draw attention to Townshend’s unfettered access to the U.S. According to the US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), it specifies numerous grounds on which a consular officer can find an applicant ineligible for a visa and inadmissible to the United States.

Applicants excludable on criminal and related grounds are the following: "Aliens convicted of, and those who admit having committed a crime involving moral turpitude (or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime)." [Emphasis added] Townshend admitted accessing, paying for and viewing child pornography; that constitutes a crime by INA definition and a reason for non-issuance of an entry Visa to the U.S.

Child AbuseWatch.net is a national child sexual abuse prevention organization (www.abusewatch.net) which provides  prevention resources to the general public, law enforcement and health care professionals. Contact:


ButlerReport  ('Pete Townshend of the WHO and his child porn connection' - August 1, 2008

Guardian Newspaper ('Pete Townshend put on sex offenders register' - May 08, 2003) http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/may/08/arts.ukcrime

FBI Child Molesters: A behavioral analysis (see page 93)

* Times: ('Townshend withdraws 'ill-advised' teen sex story' - June 22, 2006)


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