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Townshend Charge Dropped

No child porn downloads found on seized computer

After an investigation that lasted nearly four months, police in
London cleared Pete Townshend yesterday on charges that he
downloaded child porn from the Internet. Computer equipment seized
by officials from Scotland Yard at the time the Who guitarist’s
arrest in January failed to turn up any illicit downloads, police
said. Investigators did confirm that Townshend had accessed a site
containing such images in 1999; as a result, he was listed on a
national register of sex offenders.

“From the very beginning,” Townshend said in a statement, “I
acknowledged that I did access this site and that I had given the
police full access to my computers. As I made clear at the outset,
I accessed the site because of my concerns at the shocking material
available on the Internet to children as well as adults, and as
part of my research toward the campaign I had been putting together
since 1995 to counter damage done by all kinds of pornography on
the Internet, but especially any involving child abuse.”

Just after his arrest — part of an international Internet porn
sting called Operation Ore — Townshend had maintained he accessed
the site to research for his autobigraphy, since he suspected he
was abused as a child.

In February, Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja was also arrested
as part of Operation Ore. He was also cleared without charge in


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