U.K. Rock Star Charged with Child Sex Offences
The leader of the Lostprophets has been charged with child sex offences and has been arrested as part of a ongoing investigation, the Guardian reports.
Ian Watkins, the 35-year-old Welsh singer who fronts the group, appeared in court on Wednesday and faces six charges, including conspiring with a 24-year-old female fan to rape a one-year-old girl. A 20-year-old woman is also involved in the crime but cannot be named for legal reasons. Watkins and the women are accused of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a girl under 13 as well, the Guardian reports.
The singer has also been slammed with three separate charges, including possession, making and distributing indecent images of children; and has been accused of possession of "extreme pornography," some of which involves animals.
"A Pontypridd man has been charged with sexual offences against children and is due to appear at Cardiff magistrates court today," a spokesman said. "The 35-year-old has been charged with conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a female under 13 and possession/distribution of indecent images of children. In order to assist their investigation, South Wales police has named the man as Ian Watkins, a member of the rock group Lostprophets." (Cardiff is the capital of Wales.)
Police questioned the women and Watkins, who was refused bail, after their arrest.
"I want to encourage anyone who has any concerns or information which they think may be relevant to contact us," Senior investigating officer Detective Inspector Peter Doyle told the Guardian. "Safeguarding children involved in such cases is always a high priority and as such measures have already been taken."
Watkins’ band mates released a statement regarding the accusations in which they said they were in "a state of shock."
"Following charges made today against Ian Watkins, we find ourselves in a state of shock," the statement on the band’s website reads. "We are learning about the details of the investigation along with you. It is a difficult time for us and our families, and we want to thank our fans for their support as we seek answers. Jamie, Lee, Luke, Mike and Stu."
The band, known for their chart-topping hits "Last Train Home" and "Rooftops," formed in 1997 and announced that they have cancelled their upcoming tour due to Watkins’ arrest.