DOCUMENT: Crime

Touchy Townshend's Tawdry Treatise

Rankled rock star's 'research' report examined online child porn

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Touchy Townshend's Tawdry Treatise

OCTOBER 27--When Pete Townshend ducked out this week from an interview on Howard Stern's radio show, the rock star cited comments made by Stern & Co. indicating that they planned to bring up his 2003 arrest on suspicion of possessing child pornography. While a London police probe cleared The Who guitarist, the musician was placed on a U.K. sex offender registry (for five years) because he had visited a web site containing child porn images. While Townshend, 61, has acknowledged using his own credit card to visit the illicit site, he told cops that he was simply conducting 'research.' This Townshend scholarship resulted in a six-page treatise on the easy availability of online child porn. Imagine that! In his report, a copy of which you'll find below, Townshend noted that he accidentally discovered a photo of a two-year-old boy being raped when he typed the words 'Russia,' 'orphanages,' and 'boys' into a search engine. Townshend claimed that he intended to 'call the police and take them through the process I had stumbled upon--and bring the pornographers' to justice, but an attorney counseled against such action. Townshend's paper, which he once posted on his official web site, also noted that the 'pathway to 'free' paedophilic imagery is--as it were--laid out like a free line of cocaine at a decadent cocktail party: only the strong willed or terminally uncurious can resist.' (6 pages)