Opposition to the planned Super Bowl performance of the rock group, The Who, took a new turn last week, when child advocates filed a criminal complaint against guitarist Pete Townshend.
A Florida activist group, Protect Our Children, has filed a criminal complaint with John Morton, Assistant Secretary of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. A member of the group made the complaint December 7th via the I.C.E. telephone hot line and followed up with a written confirmation to Morton. The report claims that Townshend has been visiting the United States illegally, since he fails to meet the “moral turpitude” standard proscribed in I.N.S. law.
The children’s charity cited Townshend’s sex offender registration as a public recognition that he poses a threat to children. It also claims that when British police took a D.N.A. sample from Townshend, they signaled an expectation that he would commit future sex crimes. Townshend has admitted to using his credit card to view sexualized pictures of children. One photo depicted a two year-old boy being raped by an adult. The letter to Morton suggests that Townshend may be a threat to children who live in the United States.
Townshend says he was doing research for an book when he was caught doing business with a kiddie porn ring operating out of Texas. The F.B.I. lists the “research alibi” as among the most common excuses given by people who are caught trafficking in child pornography.
U.S. immigration law says authorities will deny entrance to “ Aliens convicted of, and those who admit having committed a crime involving moral turpitude (or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime).”
Townshend was listed on the United Kingdom’s registry of sex offenders for five years. In 2006 he was forced to remove a pornographic story from his website. The fictional piece which described a sexual liaison between teenagers, prompted an uproar from European child-advocacy groups.
The Who is scheduled to headline the Super Bowl halftime show in Miami, February 7.