Lostprophets singer jailed for child sex offences
The lead singer of British rock group Lostprophetshas been sentenced to 35 years for child sex offences, as UK police work with officers in the United States and Germany to establish whether he committed sex crimes there.
Ian Watkins, 36, pleaded guilty last month to 13 charges at Cardiff Crown Court in Wales last month. They included trying to rape a baby, sexually touching a 1-year-old, encouraging a fan to abuse her child and making child pornography.
Two mothers of children he abused, described by prosecutors as "active participants in the most shocking abuse of their own children", admitted child abuse charges and were sentenced to 14 and 17 years.
Before sentencing Watkins, Judge John Royce told him: "You are a deeply corrupting influence, you are highly manipulative, you are a sexual predator."
"The public and in particular young females and children need protection from you," Royce said.
He called Watkins a dangerous sexual predator who had abused his fame to help satisfy his "insatiable lust".
"Those who have appeared in these courts over many years see a large number of horrific cases," Royce said in sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court. "This case, however, breaks new ground."
Watkins - who was visibly shaking during sentencing - must serve at least two-thirds of his 29-year term, then spend six more years on strict probation.
Detective Chief Inspector Peter Doyle, senior investigating officer for South Wales Police, said the investigation into Watkins "uncovered the most disturbing child abuse evidence I have seen in my 28 years as a police officer".
Police believe they have not tracked down all of Watkins' victims and are conducting further investigations, with help from forces across Britain, international police organisation Interpol and the US Department for Homeland Security.
British detectives have already travelled to the US and to Germany, where Lostprophets toured on several occasions.
The Welsh group, which has sold more than 3 million records worldwide, broke up in October after Watkins was charged.
His former bandmates have said they are "heartbroken, angry and disgusted" at revelations that Watkins had abused children.
Watkins admitted two attempted rapes, sexually assaulting a child under 13, aiding and abetting the sexual assault of a child under 13, conspiring to rape a child under 13 and conspiring to sexually assault another child under 13, a spokeswoman for the Cardiff court said.
He also pleaded guilty to six counts of taking and possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornographic images, the spokeswoman said.
Two female accomplices, described by prosecutors as "active participants in the most shocking abuse of their own children", were jailed for 15 and 16 years respectively. They have not been identified in order to protect the identities of their children.
- Reuters, AP