Pete Townshend Arrested in Porn Probe

01/13/2003 8:27AM

Scotland Yard on Monday arrested legendary Who guitarist Pete Townshend on suspicion of making and possessing indecent images of children and of incitement to distribute indecent images of children, police said.

"Mr. Townshend has been at the station this evening answering questions from police. He has not been charged," the musician's lawyer, John Cohen, told reporters.

"He's been bailed to come back perhaps at a future occasion if they want him to answer more questions," the attorney added.

The musician, 57, faced police questioning for more than an hour, according to reports.

Townshend admitted in a statement on Saturday to using his credit card to view an American subscriber-only network that provided a gateway to international child pornography sites. But he denied being a pedophile, saying he had been researching a book that would refer to his experiences of sexual abuse as a child.

The guitarist, a father of three, also said he was acting as an Internet vigilante, reported Britain's Daily Telegraph.

But police said they arrested Townshend under the Protection of Children Act after executing two searches at a business and a residence in Richmond, Surrey, the town outside London where he lives. Townshend's computer was also removed, said reports.

Townshend is the most prominent figure to have been questioned as part of a legal crackdown in England that has so far resulted in more than 1,300 arrests.

A Texas couple, Thomas and Janice Reedy, ran the porn network to which Townshend allegedly subscribed. The Reedys were jailed last year.

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